The end-of-year holidays are a great time of year. Kids in school are on break and are home. Many of us take extra time off. We celebrate Hanukah and the secular New Year. The family gathers for food, fun and gifts. What is not to like?
At this time of year, I am reminded of the most important things in my life, my family and my children. As my kids become older and develop their own lives and traditions, family time becomes more precious. On one hand, I love to see their lives unfold before them. I watch their amazement as they spread their wings, create families and develop their own daily rituals and monthly traditions. On the other hand, I cannot help but be a little sad that my routine has changed because they are not around every day anymore; and, I have to change my traditions to be in sync with theirs. Bittersweet, I think, is the perfect description. At least I know the seeds I have planted still have a little bit of the same sparkle in them. One of my daughters reminded me that some family traditions will never disappear. When we all were in a texting conversation (that new version of communication), I asked my girls if anyone wanted anything special for Hanukah when we are together. One quickly responded – your latkes, of course!
So, at this time of year, I want to offer two thoughts. To my kids: Whether you are near or far, I love you. Whether I speak to you every day or once a week, you are in my daily routine. And as the holidays approach, I cannot wait to spend some precious time together. To everyone else: Take a moment to stop and smell the flowers, then pick some for your mom, significant other or children. Take a break from politics (CNN or Fox), take a break from work – as long as you do not own a Chinese restaurant – and enjoy what is waiting for you at home.
Michael Morris is the owner-publisher of the AJT.