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What is Truly Important – Cherishing Those in Your Life

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We have closed the book on Christmas 2011 and as we look forward to ringing in 2012 this weekend, I am reflecting on those in my life and those who have shared it.

As I get older and watch my children grow up, I continue to gain insight and wisdom into what is truly important…it is what our elders have told us all along. It’s family and friends and those who love you and you love.

My children and I watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on Christmas Day. I always understood the message, even when I was a child, that Christmas isn’t something that comes from a store or comes wrapped in packages, boxes or bags.

Even though I understood the message, as a child, those packages, boxes or bags were SO dang important. The anticipation of ripping through the wrappings and pulling out the presents was overwhelming. No matter what anyone or any television special tried to teach me, Christmas was about the loot.

Watching my own children and niece and nephew this Christmas, I could see my child self in their wild anticipation of tearing into the mound of presents under the tree. I have clear memories of circling the tree scanning for gift tags with my name and trying to guess what was inside.

My older niece (who is in her twenties) said it best – it was the anticipation and action of opening the presents when she was a child. She could clearly remember dying to open presents and ripping them open, but what was inside wasn’t as important. She couldn’t remember what she had received, but could remember wriggling inside from anticipation.

We all recalled our memories of the anticipation of opening presents. But no one could really remember very many actual gifts.

I remember waiting to open gifts, then all of us sitting together in a group while we opened presents. I remmeber how it felt to sit there with the ones I loved. Surrounded with family, love and giving. It always felt warm and happy. The twinkling lights on the tree, the chocolates my grandfather would pass around after gifts were opened, the fudge my grandmother made. I didn’t appreciate it then, but I do now.

When I was a kid, the gifts were the focus, but the family was what was truly important. I took it all for granted because I didn’t understand what it was to lose someone. They were always there.

I also remember the year my dad wore a Santa hat while passing out gifts to my young kids. My dad was quiet and shy, and only did it for his granddaughters. There is no way he would have wore that hat for anyone else.

All of those days are long gone and only memories, along with many of the people I shared them with. But we are making new Christmas memories with my children and continuing to spend them with those that we love.

Christmas is about family, but it is also about friends and celebrating those in your life. I am so honored to have each and every friend. They each bring something special and cherished into my life. I love you all.

I didn’t have a sister growing up, but I have two beautiful sister in-laws who have adopted me as their own sister and two amazing, beautiful cousins that I grew up with and am proud to call sister today.

I am so thankful to have my mom so close and a part of my girls’ lives too.

All of my husband’s family is always so kind and we have so much fun sitting around the Christmas tree sharing stories of Christmases past.

I am so lucky to be married to a dedicated husband and father and my children teach me something everyday. I am loving watching them grow up and become women. I cherish every minute I have to spend with them.

Christmas isn’t about the boxes or bows. You can’t find it in a store. All you need to do is look inside your heart and home to see what is important to you.

Although I don’t necessarily subscribe to New Year’s resolutions, my focus for 2012 is to concentrate on those in my life and work to cut out the busy work and running around that takes away from them. You never know what tomorrow will bring and it is so important to keep those in your heart at the top of your list.

Susan Wells is a native Colorado mom to two girls, ages 6 and 10. She loves to find the learning in everything. In past lives, Susan has been a symphony bassist, sound engineer, news web producer and web developer. She currently works for Steve Spangler Science in web marketing, social media and blogging. She also blogs at TwoHandsTwoFeet.com.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 28, 2011

    I like having a focus for 2012 and yours is a good one. Glad to hear you had a gratitude-filled holiday!

  • comment avatar Lisa Vratny-Smith December 28, 2011

    Beautifully said, Susan. May we all cherish the moments we have with those we love. Happy New Year!

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