Holidays coming so soon
Nov. 12, 2012
by Jenni Sebora

I was having a discussion with my students about the upcoming holidays. The stores had Christmas items in a couple of weeks before Halloween. I don’t mind it, but I know most people do. I have started listening to Christmas music already.

When I am asked my favorite music genre, I say “Christmas.” And I mean it. It just makes one feel all warm, fuzzy and hopeful. I love to listen to big band Christmas music as well as jazz, blues, country, and the list goes on. I own a Josh Grobin Christmas album and Justin Bieber too on the pleas of my two daughters, not to mention Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Olivia Newton John and the Chipmunks, to name just a few. I have a lot to choose from.

Although I am already enjoying Christmas music, I never let Thanksgiving slip by. Thanksgiving is truly about home, family, festivity and a feast tradition. In fact, one of my students, in our recent holiday conversation, so candidly said, “How could someone forget about a holiday where it’s about stuffing your face?”

I laughed, but there is truth to that. In fact, that reminds us of what Thanksgiving is truly about. Gratitude. For all of us that can enjoy the “stuffing of our faces,” on Thanksgiving, we should truly be grateful for the bounties that we enjoy. We have food and water to drink. Much of our world does not enjoy clean water to drink with and wash with.

Family and friends. I recently had parent/teacher conferences at the district I teach in. Of course, I talked and shared with different parents. I shared with one of my students how I enjoyed speaking with her father, and what a neat person he is. She agreed, and said, “Yeah, he’s a good dad.” That sent a twinge right to my heart. It always makes me feel good when I know that a child, in this case a teenager, is loved by her family. We should be thankful for family.

We should never take friendship for granted. And we shouldn’t take it granted for our children either. It is important that we encourage play dates and friendships between our children and peers. That means hosting our children’s friends in our homes. This is important. We can observe the interactions and help teach social skills and friendship skills, and get to know the kids our children interact with.

I am truly grateful for the friendships that my children have, and my house has always been open to their friends and peers. I have had and have some great conversations with my children and their friends and sometimes guidance from a parent in the topics discussed is important.

I am also grateful for my own friends, old and new. As is the case, some of my newer friendships are those with parents of my kids’ friends. We talk about what is going on with our children, but we also laugh and just enjoy each other’s company. I truly am thankful for these relationships. They certainly enhance my life. It is good for our kids to observe us in our friendships as well.

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy a feast with family and friends. It is a time to reflect on our bounties, and to overtly say grace and extend gratitude to others.

I will be doing this while listening to my Christmas music. Happy start of the holidays to all of you.

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