Welcoming a season of...
Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
– Hamilton Wright Mabie
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family.
- Burton Hillis
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.
- Andy Rooney
It’s not hard to find something to do in December considering all of the holiday festivities, events and family gatherings available to take part in. If you’re looking to blend in something creative and different, check out our selected list of December observances for your family to explore and enjoy!
by Sylvia Ford-George
December December is filled with lots to do. Shopping for perfect gifts for family and friends; flexing charitable muscles; spending more time with family and friends; circulating our way through parties, celebrations and events; and relishing great holiday snacks, sweets and meals. There are trees to be trimmed, lights to be hung, cookies to be baked, and carols to be sung. Stories to be read, children to be nestled and put into beds. Toys to be assembled, gifts to be wrapped, movies to watch, and nog to be sipped. A celebration of culture and pride, the counting down of Father Time, and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
December is a great time for counting our blessings and honoring heritage with Hanukkah, Roots Day, Christmas and Kwanzaa. And, there’s much to celebrate, eat, drink and enjoy including Rosa Parks Day, U.S. National Guard Birthday, National Brownie Day, Bake Cookies Day, Gingerbread House Day, National Cocoa Day, Go Caroling Day, Make a Gift Day, Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, New Years Eve, and setting goals for the coming year…including your family reunion.
When I was younger the holidays used to be about what I was getting. Now that I’m older they’re more about what I can give. As a child my most memorable Christmases include the year I received an Easy Bake Oven and made pancakes for my dad. (I’m sure they didn’t taste like much, but he ate them as if he were eating steak and potatoes.) Next was the year I caught my dad loading our gifts into the vestibule, (aka the year I discovered Santa wasn’t real). And then the Christmas after my father passed, when my Mom sat me and my twin sister down and said money was tight, so we (the oldest of four daughters) would only get necessities. I was upset at first but that feeling went away quickly after seeing how happy my younger sisters were Christmas morning. That year I learned that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t what you get, but what you do to help spread joy to others.
As we get older we realize that Christmas is not just about shopping, spending money, or chasing sales and deals. It’s about spending time with family and helping those in need. And the holiday season offers plenty of opportunity to do just that. This month while you’re enjoying your holiday festivities, checking out December’s FAMILY TIME for things to celebrate; turning this month’s REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH into another activity for your family and reunion, and checking out a holiday themed WORTH REPEATING, don’t forget the real reason for the season. Enjoy all the holiday has to offer. Celebrate responsibly with family and friends. And above all be safe. Don’t Drink and Drive. Don’t Drug and Drive. Don’t Text and Drive. And don’t let your friends.
Be healthy, safe and warm this holiday season. And we’ll see you in 2020.
- December photos from Yahoo images.
STICKY REUNION SITUATION
At the reunion several family members noticed a cousin being verbally abusive with his elderly mother and father. No one said anything at the time, but we’re wondering if we should have said or done something. What’s the best way to handle this kind of situation at a reunion?
Copyright 2014-2019 Family Reunion Institute. All rights reserved.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
I think most of us remember the picture of the little girl standing mesmerized in front of the painting of Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery. Well now, young Parker Curry and her mom have penned a children’s book to inspire other kids to see endless possibilities. The book, Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, was showcased on an episode of Lester Holt Nightly News, Inspiring America segment. Find out more here: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/inspiring-america/video/girl-awestruck-by-michelle-obama-portrait-hopes-to-inspire-other-kids-with-new-book-71107653783
In December we should take advantage of National Roots Day and share what we know about our families. National Roots Day is observed annually on December 23 across the United States to encourage us to look into our family history, heritage and ancestry. Collecting information is easier when family members are gathered together during the holiday season (and reunions). Family’s can use this time of year to explore, share and gift what they know about their history to one another. And then, use the upcoming year to research and uncover missing pieces.