I sit here pondering what my children will remember of the holidays and the traditions that we are trying to create with them. I struggle knowing that I will never be able to give them what I experienced as a child. I wonder if the their memories will be good or bad, bouncing between homes during the holidays. Different traditions between homes, different focus on the reason for the season. One home focused on receiving, while our home focused on the giving and the sacredness of the holidays.
My wife and I try to create strong traditions which strengthen our family and faith. We focus on the time together, on service to others and the love that we share. We try to share with them the wonder and joy that can only be found in family, forgiveness, service and love. We focus on the beauty of our world and connecting with nature. We try hard to stay away from any focus on material possessions, instead choosing to focus on the importance of family.
As I reflect upon my own childhood memories, especially those this time of year, I can recall few of the gifts I received, yet I remember well the family time, love and laughter that accompanied my childhood and the memories of the holidays. I looked forward to the time with my cousins, we would laugh and play, my uncles would tease us and my aunts would kiss us. This was time for family and togetherness.
I pray that my children, as they grow will be able to find through all the challenges these little hearts face the love of family and the memories of togetherness that I was deeply blessed with.