Family and the Holidays are important to me. I cherish all the memories of my past holidays with my family. Growing up, we celebrated everything in our home, both Catholic and Jewish holidays, you name it. Mom was always cooking, and people were always in my house laughing and enjoying whichever season it was. My dad’s birthday was Christmas day, so we had a houseful on Christmas.

God, those days were so special, and even going to Yonkers to my Grandmothers house where every cousin, second cousin, Aunts, Uncles, and their children would gather. I had a wonderful childhood filled with incredible memories of family, laughter, and love. My Uncle Bernie was always hilarious non stop, quick, and witty to the point that the tears would come out of our eyes from laughter.

I miss those days. So when I had my own family, I kept the traditions up. All holidays were celebrated in my house back to back with family and friends from all over the tri-state area, and some would come up from Florida. It was such a simple wonderful time of life. Christmas became even more special when my children were young. I would put them to sleep, but first, Elisha needed to be read “The Night Before Christmas every night into August. In retrospect, I think it was because the night before Christmas was so incredibly special in our house. I would put them to sleep, and when my ex-husband would go to work. Bless his soul, he worked 7 days a week 18 hour days, but he would come home and put everything I bought together piece by piece. It was Santa’s workshop, alright, but no elves, just he and I. In retrospect, we probably needed a larger house just for their “stuff.” Then the best part came. He would dress up as Santa. I’d wake Elisha out of her sleep, the house dark, just the lights from the Christmas tree, and her father would be dressed in his Santa garb, and we would sit on the top of the stairs. Elisha was in Magic land. There was one night that we swore she and I heard something on the roof. We were very blessed to always have each other. For so many are alone, and the holidays can be so depressing. It saddens me for them.

I know people have lost the true meaning of Thanksgiving ~ Gratitude, not just how much Turkey and food I can fill my belly with, and certainly some people believe that the true meaning has been forgotten and what it is about, and I get that. I hold it in my heart, not just on Christmas day but every day. But it doesn’t mean that I didn’t love going back up North last year and acting like a tourist and going to see the Tree in Rockefeller Center and being a tourist. I love all the lights and everything around that area, the angels, the light shows, Radio City, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

For all that are reading this, I just want to convey a few things. If you don’t have “family” or loved ones, that is sad, and my heart goes out to you in prayer that you still somehow someway get to enjoy these days ahead.

This is a very troubled time in this world, and no matter what your belief system is, we must all try and help each other, the homeless, and the people that are going to a soup kitchen for food. Our most wonderful Veterans that might not have anyone. I personally do something close to my heart, and it need not be posted here for the glory of it. But if each of us looks outside our own little worlds and looks at those less fortunate, we can make a difference as small as it may seem. Touch one person’s life, and you are blessed.

I had more to say, but I’m going to end it here. I would like you all to reflect and look deep inside your souls and hearts and find just one thing to be grateful for and perhaps share your joy with someone else.

I hope you all have something to be happy about this holiday season … and always.

With love and only love,