Don’t Stop…

The most interesting and intriguing days of the year are the days after Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. There is soo much hype leading up to these particular holidays that it is crazy. What makes the day after these holidays special is that many times we return to ‘life as usual’ on these days. “What do you mean, Jackie?” Let me explain…

For Thanksgiving, we plan way in advance for our families to come together. We plan where dinner will be held, our menus, and seating arrangements. We send out invitations and make travel plans. We begin preparing the food up to a week prior. We even plan, how many places that we’ll hit today and count the plates that we’ll take home from each house.

For Christmas, some of us start shopping for that ‘perfect’ gift in January. We go all year in preparation for this special day. We hunt and search the ads looking for the right Black Friday special. We are willing to knock down and trample each other to death just to get that one toy that Johnny asked for. We paint the picture for our children about that jolly old elf, Santa coming down our chimney, even tho many don’t even have fireplaces. On Christmas Eve, we spend the first half of the night trying to find the gifts that we hid back in January and we spend the rest of the night wrapping gifts.

For Valentine’s, we stop everything to show each other how much we love each other. We buy that dozen roses (two dozen if you’ve been bad). We get the chocolate hearts and other confections to show how ‘sweet’ our love is. We make reservations at the most expensive restaurants that we can afford to show how important our love is. We come up with more and more creative ways to display our love for each other.

BUT, then there’s the day after…

All that I will say is this, “Don’t Stop!!!” We should live a life of continual Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine… Don’t allow the calendar to determine how much we express our love, affection, and thanks for each other.

Today’s assignment is simple. Keep doing what you did yesterday.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

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Black Friday… the thanks for giving follow-up

Letter from 2012-11-23

Yesterday was a great day. I made an ambrosia salad, a sausage dressing and I fried a turkey. But what made the made the day great was that I spent it with my family. My wife and mom in the kitchen sampling and resampling all of the various dishes; the children outside playing, my dad doing his “dad things” and me… I’m just soaking it all in.

A few years ago, I couldn’t say that I truly enjoyed the day all because I was mad that everyone didn’t participate like I thought they should. Thanksgiving was the one day of the year that we should all put our best “food-foot” forward. “Why are we eating brown-n-serve rolls?”, “These are canned green beans. Why didn’t you get fresh ones?”, “Why is the housing stinking? Did you make chit’lins?”… I was in the house but not enjoying the family.

This year we did something different. My dad turned off the TV. All too often the TV has become the babysitter… not only for the children but for the adults as well. If it’s not the TV, it’s our cell phone or getting on the internet. We have become a nation of distracted people. But, this year no TV and guess what we did… we talked to each other, we reminisced of times past, played back the stories of each others lives from different perspectives. It was great!!!

Recently, I was talking to a guy about his relationship with his young children. One of his concerns was about the expense of hanging out and entertaining his children. My response was this… If you’re concerned about money then do things that you spend once. Get a membership to the Zoo, COSI, or the museum. Once, you buy the membership, every time you go it’s free. Go to the library or a park. Or how about this, don’t go anywhere or do anything. Play UNO or Monopoly with them. Or just sit and talk…

The close of Thanksgiving dinner last night ended at a bowling alley. I decided not to go based on this… No matter how tired I was as long as we were in the “family setting”, it didn’t matter. Once the setting changes it reverts back to the ‘norm’, a bunch of people in the same place all separated.

In closing, as we return to work, make those mad dashes for those sales, as we get back to what we do… Don’t forget to enjoy your family. You only have one family and when they’re gone, there’s no replacement.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie