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What Matters Most?

Hello Jolly Friends,

How are you doing? Are you feeling frazzled and pressured to live up to the commercial pressures of these extravagant holidays? Let me tell you a little secret: there are a few too many commercials that make me shed a tear or two every time they dance across the TV. There is a lot of marketing of holiday perfection, with perfectly dressed homes and smiling happy families. It’s easy to compare your decorations, food, and family to the pictures on social media and TV.

As much as adults try to reach holiday perfection, the kids have a whole different spin on things. So, today, while you are still looking ahead to the holiday events in front of you, I urge you to reflect on what is really important to you and the family you will have with you this year. If covid has taught us anything, it’s how important family (and good health) are. We can buy most everything, but good times with family and friends are truly priceless.

When the children are all grown up with families of their own, what do you want them to remember about the holidays of their childhood? This is a question to consider as you plan holiday activities. Defining and reminding yourself of your family values and traditions can clarify your reasons for celebrating this holiday season.

What can you do to make sure that you instill some priceless moments into the season? Do you have a special holiday tradition? If not, start one – it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Ask family members what traditions are important to them. What makes the holiday special for them? Share memories of your childhood and let them know what traditions have been adopted from the past.

As you plan for holiday activities, remind family members why the activity is important and how it is representative of your family values and/or traditions. 

At this time of year, you can overdo it. Avoid overwhelming the family with a packed calendar of activities. Keep the activities manageable and allow enough time to do things with them that allows for them to enjoy the activity.

Focusing on family values and traditions will help you strengthen family bonds and bring meaning to holiday celebrations.


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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