By Rick Houser –
As a year passes so do the seasons, moving past Halloween and on to Thanksgiving. Of course Thanksgiving is a time for just what it says it is and that is being thankful, but maybe we don’t understand that Thanksgiving is only the beginning of a season as the calendar year begins to wind down we all begin to think and look inwardly. We begin to divide just what we really are thankful for.
When the calendar turns its page over for that last time we get sentimental and a little reminiscent. About what, where, and who differs from individual to Individual for sure but none the less we focus on what means the most to us. In my case I will have to say my focus is on family- past, present, and future. I feel this way because it is the time of year for the Christmas holiday. For this period of time, love and caring become more a part of our day to day lives.
I mentioned the three parts of my life I look at and this is why. First is the past. This is where I look back at the holidays I celebrated with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but more so my parents and my sister and brother. I think all of us look back to that time when it was the family we had grown up with plus our first recollections of good memories of the holidays we experienced. I know that these are some of my best thoughts I will ever have and never want to lose. My family was very close and we enjoyed the holiday season because we were all together. That was the way it was at that time for many families.
Then here are the holidays of the present. This is the time when my wife and I were raising our own family and we had almost all of our past families together with us. We would wear ourselves out hitting all the different members of the family gatherings on both sides as we didn’t want to miss anything as there was joy, laughter, and cheer at each stop along the way, not to mention lots of delicious foods. By the end of the holidays we all were worn out but happy we had made the effort because along with food, presents, and conversation, we returned home with memories that can’t nor would we ever want to forget or replace.
Last, but maybe the most important phase is the future. This is taking place at my home now. This is the time when our children have not only become of adult age, but have become the future that we once were. I am a little saddened that I am no longer looked to as the future, but I can proudly say that I helped deliver some of the present and am so glad I can say that with a positive smile. Also, I now am the grandparent of four grandchildren. Not only do I say this beaming from ear to ear but I also feel assured that my family will move on into the future and from what I see that even though it is somewhat with blind faith, the next generation will contribute positively as have all who have and will pass before them.
So when I speak of the holidays I strongly speak of family. Families are the backbone of what makes us strong as a people. Taking time out of our crazy schedules each year to think where we have been and where we are heading isn’t really a bad trade off at all. As I have said at other times I really like the decorating with trees and lights. I like the gathering of family. In some ways a month or so of time can feel like it just isn’t enough to fit all that we want to fit into the season as.
I know when I was growing up it seemed as though we were on the road and in the season constantly. My parents made sure we celebrated with every relative we had and also with so many people who weren’t as fortunate as us in that they in most cases celebrated alone. We didn’t accept this and would visit as many as we knew of and share some of our family spirit with them. I don’t know how much good we did but it helped us to be more in the spirit to be with family. It is very possible that we all are coming up short on sharing ourselves and our times with those who have way too much time and way too little family.
I have expounded on my views about this time of year. All I can tell you is I certainly appreciated my family as I was growing up. Being with family made the season complete. The years I’ve enjoyed raising my family have brought my immediate family closer along with my friends and that is maybe the best gift I receive from the holidays.
But when your family has grown to be outstanding adults and you raised them and you get to look at the next generation part of your family you smile the smile that says you did a good job and you will now be able to watch their family begin if you’re lucky enough. Ah, family… the gift we all want and the one that keeps on giving.
Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories and other topics. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.