Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have a Happy Holiday Season!

Well it's that time of year again when most of our thoughts turn to holiday festivities and holiday stress. I have definitely noticed a more somber attitude this holiday season due to the overwhelming financial pressures that face most of us. Big retailers are having sale after sale and yet are selling less. Internet retailers are offering bigger and better bargains and even free shipping. It's a pity that there seems to be so much pressure on people to make sure that they buy plenty of gifts for everyone. Maybe it's time to return to simpler values like baking a plate of Christmas cookies and giving them as a gift instead of just spending more and more money that you don't really have to spend.

 One of the nicest traditions I have is that every year I get together w/an older woman that I became friends with while working at Fire Island back in the late  80's. I drive over to her home and sit awhile in her cozy living room and look at old photos and reminisce over people we knew who are no longer with us. We then go out to dinner at a local restaurant and talk some more. We usually give each other a very small gift like a poinsettia plant or a home baked batch of cookies.  We always have a lovely time just catching up with each other once a year over the holidays. I find that the gift of time is far more precious than any silly trinket or electronic  gadget that I probably don't need anyways.  Make time for the people in your life that are special to you for one day they may not be there anymore and all you will have to hold onto are the memories you made together.

If you are fortunate enough to have a roof over your head than you are more fortunate than most of this planet's inhabitants. Be thankful for what you've got even if it is less than you had hoped for. For better or worse we live in a country that idealizes "stuff" and the message we are constantly being bombarded with is that the more "stuff" you have the more successful you are. It's time we realized that "stuff" doesn't last only memories do. We are all just caretakers in this life. We buy jewelry, we buy homes, we buy cars and then we pass on and our "stuff" also gets passed on. We are just temporary caretakers and the best we can do is take good care of all that we have and realize that all we have is enough to be grateful for. 

So this holiday season give the gift of time and the gift of appreciation. That's the "stuff" that memories are built upon. Wishing you and yours a most joyous holiday season!

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