Perez Halpern English December 2018

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December 2018

A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR

And we’re off! Beginning with Thanksgiving, the holiday season is underway, and the festivities continue through January. For us, that means a lot of time with family celebrating annual traditions and making new ones. We

too, but for Hanukkah, everyone comes together in one place — all three generations of his family. Josh’s family hosts an annual Hanukkah party, and they plan it far enough in advance that 99 percent of the family can make it. Jacob really looks forward to this gathering; it’s one of the traditions he starts asking us about early in the season. He loves being with his cousins. All the kids are there, and they get to play together and exchange gifts. It’s pretty cool to see them reunite as if no time has passed and to see how things evolve each year. It’s a special time. For Christmas, we usually transfer our nuclear family to be wherever my parents are. We spend the days around the holiday with my aunt and grandmother. In years of the dreaded December dilemma — when Hanukkah and Christmas overlap — we celebrate at my parent’s house with my aunt and grandmother. Since Jacob was about 1, we started our tradition of hosting a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party. As an integral part of our work and our life, Andy also comes to the party each year. We start early enough that he can still go out with his friends after. The party starts around 6 or 7 p.m., and thanks to Netflix, which sure knows how to appeal to its audience, we show a prerecorded ball drop so that our New Year’s can come a little earlier than midnight. Our promise to other parents is that if they show up with their kids, we’ll have food and snacks, and we’ll usher in the “new year” at 9 p.m., so everyone can get a reasonable bedtime. We have sparkling cider for the kids, Champagne for the grown-ups, and Ring Pops to “ring” in the new year. The kids get to hang out, and the adults have a fun time, too. Some family and friends stay longer, and some go to bed before midnight. It’s an evolved tradition that started pre-parenthood and continued. Before Jacob was born, our friends did an adults-only New Year’s Eve party, and this is our kid-friendly version of that. Even as things change and evolve in our lives, we make time for the people who are close to us. That’s what the holidays are all about, right?

spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my dad and

enjoyed the season in Florida. It was a chance to reconnect and take a little extra time to be with our loved ones.

Things slow down a bit at the office, so I usually work remotely to be there for my clients while also being here

for family time. I find this helps me return to the office feeling rejuvenated. Do you feel the same way? When we take time to do things we find enjoyable, we’re able to show up better for our clients, family, and friends. We celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah in our family and put the focus not just on receiving but on giving back. We have conversations with Jacob about ways to do this. He gets an allowance every week, and around Hanukkah, he picks a charity to donate his allowance to. I’m glad it’s something that will be part of his holiday tradition from a young age. Hanukkah is also one of the rare times we get to be with all of Josh’s family. We see them at other times of the year,

–Meliha Perez Halp ern

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