The holidays are here….

As I think back I have all these memories that flood my mind……Time with family and friends…. Running and playing with my cousins….. The warm food that filled my belly…..The laughs and joyful times but there has also been a few holidays of not so joyful and sick times. I have missed Thanksgiving due to a stomach virus when pregnant and sat alone drinking Gatorade by myself. I have had the sad Christmas where my mom was in the hospital and I got a glimpse of what the holidays are like hearing beeps and seeing medical equipment….and wondering if I will ever have a Christmas with my mom again. I stayed strong for my children but spent much of the holidays in crying spurts in a hospital or in my closet. The holidays can be an AMAZING TIME….everyone is so CHEERY AND GIVING and then the holidays can be the worst of times as well. When you’re supposed to be happy and cheerful and everything isn’t so happy and cheerful….which makes it worse. Remember that duringĀ  the holidays as you go about your business…remember that not everyone is having a BRIGHT holiday season. Last Christmas I had a few looks when I ran in to get a bite to eat…… no makeup, clothes worn for days, and ragged. When I explained I was grabbing to go to get back to the hospital the hostesses attitude changed towards me. No I don’t always look so rugged and harsh but at that moment I did and I didn’t care. I had people texting me on Christmas last year and I felt so loved to have text or phone calls just checking on me. Take time to spread love to those who aren’t having the best holidays.

I also want to remind you WHAT the holidays are about! We head to our cabin this Thanksgiving week. We don’t watch TV and play devices all day. We eat and drink obviously…. but we bond. We take the time to run in the woods with the kids. We ride the rangers and 4-wheelers. We sit on the front porch rocking chairs chatting over coffee. The kids swing and the guys will hunt. We lay around on the couches telling stories and talking. We play games and stay up late….all sleeping in one big room together. We don’t need a huge cabin, king size beds, TV’s, I-pads, and so forth……we just need each other. Doing all of these things together makes memories that last forever. So forget the glitz and the glam….forget the expense…forget the devices and social media…and FOCUS. FOCUS on what is truly important….and that is TIME. Spending quality time with friends and family. Time passes by incredibly fast…my first baby boy was a BABY…..8 1/2 years have FLOWN by….time is a crazy thing…ENJOY every moment before it slips away and out of your hands and becomes just a memory….

 

The keys to enjoying the upcoming holidays are easy….

Don’t build them up in your head……Don’t expect the holidays to be a certain way. Just let them be. Be present and enjoy the moment for what it is.

Be grateful for the small moments because the small moments turn into great memories. You don’t have to be on an expensive trip to make awesome memories or give expensive gifts to show people you love them.

Really think when buying and purchasing this year. Don’t send yourself into debt trying to impress or prove your love. Take time to make something for the ones you love. My mom made blankets for all of us last year and little did we know it was almost her last year with us. We all have those blankets to wrap ourselves in now and be comforted by her love. Realize the importance of the time and the day….not the material things.

This could be your last holiday with a loved one and you have no clue. So stay off the phone, iPad or whatever else that pulls you away and CONNECT!

Giving is more important than receiving. So this year when you are giving really try and think about the people and who you are buying for. It is so exciting to buy for others and it feels good but there is something you can do past that……..Buy a turkey for someone, Pay a lay away for someone, hand someone in the grocery store a $20 who is looking like they are in need, DONATE & GIVE because that is the BEST part!

The holidays are here…..my FAVORITE time of year!! Make sure to GIVE to everyone around you…be thoughtful and kind and giving and you will be blessed beyond measure….and LASTLY be THANKFUL…for everything you have. God has blessed you and you may not even realize it. Be sure to give him thanks today and everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

XOXO

Rivers