Spreading Cheer Through the Holidays Peace of Mind Post W hen I was growing up, we would have big Christmas celebrations with lots of gifts and decorations every year. But my family never failed to emphasize the true DECEMBER 2019
meaning of the holidays: being together with family and showing people that you care about them. Through our traditions and our joy, we can spread that true meaning and give back this holiday season! Twenty years ago, we had a sick family friend who wasn’t going to see his daughter on Christmas Day. She was in California for college and he was bedridden in the hospital, so logistically, there was no way they could be together for the holidays. Knowing this, a few of his friends, including my father, coordinated to make sure he was able to see his daughter for Christmas. My job was picking her up from their airport on Christmas Eve. When he saw her at the hospital, he was ecstatic, and no matter how many times I think about that memory, I always remember how wonderful it was. Chances like this don’t always come about, but we make sure to spread a little cheer in one form or another every year. It doesn’t have to be grand to make a difference; one example of this in my life is my church’s several holiday programs! Every winter, my family participates in their Operation Christmas Child program, which sends shoeboxes of toys to children in need of cheer during the holidays. Another tradition my family practices is inviting someone over who doesn’t have a place to celebrate the holidays. Growing up, my grandmother made sure that if anyone didn’t have a Christmas dinner planned, we would go out of our way to have them over. Every year, we always have one or two extra people over for dinner, and it’s so fun to share that experience. If you’re looking for a way to give your family a little more holiday cheer, there is one tradition my dad and I love to do. Ever since I was a kid, my dad and I would cut down a gigantic Christmas tree for the big day!
Christmas Tree in the barn
Gram’s last Christmas at home
We’ve gone a variety of places over the years, but now we usually go to either Grupp’s Christmas Tree Farm or Cypher’s Christmas Tree Farm. Both of them are a bit of a drive, so my dad and I always have a chance to enjoy each other’s company. “Growing up, my grandmother made sure that if anyone didn’t have a Christmas dinner planned, we would go out of our way to have them over.”
Julie’s horse, Rascal, getting into the holiday spirit
But we don’t just get a tree for ourselves. We get one for the animals as well! After our Christmas tree adventure, we will take one of the trees and place it in the barn. We will then decorate it with unbreakable ornaments so that even our farm animals can join in the Christmas festivities! What sort of traditions do you and your family have for Christmas? Let me know the next time you’re in the office! I love finding new ways to give back or spread cheer during the holiday season.
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