365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130
THAT SPECIAL CHRISTMAS FEELING I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MY BOYS’ FACES CHRISTMAS MORNING
‘Tis the season of giving, which makes it both a fun and challenging time to be a parent. Aside from trying to give to the less fortunate, you also have kids who spend sleepless nights wondering what surprises Christmas morning has in store. You don’t want to disappoint them! My boys, Jude, 6, and Luke, 4, are both old enough to get excited about Santa’s visit. It’s the best time of the year to them — and the longest, as they wait. They enjoy hot cocoa evenings, “Charlie Brown” on T.V., carolers at the door, and every sighting of Santa Claus himself at the mall. Of course, it all culminates in one exciting morning. “We don’t love Christmas for the gifts, food, or parties. We love it because of how it feels, and I’m not just talking about the pleasant Louisiana winters.” Both boys are into typical stuff for kids their age, so they aren’t difficult to shop for. Jude is starting to love playing sports. A new mitt or soccer ball would be a thrill for him. He also likes Pokémon cards and anything related to superheroes, as long as it’s the Lego version. Sometimes I wonder if he even realizes Batman and Superman exist outside the Lego world! Luke is also pretty easy to shop for. Lately, he’s been into something called “Paw Patrol.” If you have young boys, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. We’re looking at their trucks and plush toys for Christmas gifts. I’m sure any of those will light up Luke’s face on Christmas morning. There’s nothing like bringing joy to others during the Christmas season. I hope my boys learn that as they get older. There’s a change that happens sometime during adulthood, when Christmas becomes much more about what you give than what you receive. Luckily, they already have a great example for that. My father-in-law owns Melba’s, a nice little restaurant here in town. For many years, he’s hosted a toy drive for kids in less-affluent neighborhoods. Kids can come by and choose from about $5,000 worth of toys, some donated and some paid for out of my father-in-law’s pocket. He also delivers them in a neighborhood in the ninth and seventh wards. Most
years, he invites my boys to help.
It’s a great lesson for them. They don’t just get taught the importance
of giving; they get to experience it for themselves.
Early in the season, my wife hosts a Christmas party for family and close friends. She’s an amazing hostess and starts planning it in October. On Christmas Eve, we usually go to church with her parents before having a nice holiday meal.
Before I had kids and a business, Christmas was different. Now, it’s all about giving and spending time with family. I don’t always get to see my family, so Christmas is the time to rekindle those special relationships and come together in the spirit of love. When I say “spirit of love,” I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s that special Christmas spirit — the spirit that makes people around town kinder and more forgiving. It’s the spirit that warms hearts and minds and causes people to be more generous. We don’t love Christmas for the gifts, food, or parties. We love it because of how it feels, and I’m not just talking about the pleasant Louisiana winters. As we reflect on the year that was and the year that’s coming, I hope we can end strong by giving as much as we can. There is always someone less fortunate who could use our help.
From all of us at Smiley Law Firm, merry Christmas!
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