We have had many firsts this year- first new car, first baby, first niece(s). But now, the first holiday season with Liam is fast approaching. Tomorrow is our first Thanksgiving with with our little guy. This is the first year that I really understand what Thanksgiving is about. It is not about having a day off of work or the food (although these are a plus). It is about knowing what you have and acknowledging the blessings that you have been given. For me, this is even more important. I believe that who I am, and what I have been through, makes me even more thankful.
As we bake and decorate for the season I think about the many things that I am lucky enough to have: I have the job of my dreams, a beautiful home, a wonderful family (that includes a perfect, healthy, little boy), my husband and I are happy and neither one of us have to worried too much about having/keeping our jobs. We know that there are people who do not have these "luxuries" and we know that we should appreciative. Although everything is going in the right direction now, we know that there are so many things that could go wrong and that we may not always be in this situation.
As we head into our first holiday season, I think about all the changes that our son has brought to our lives. The holidays won't be about us anymore, they are all about him and the joy that he brings to us. I can't wait until the time, when Liam understands who Santa is and we can see his face Christmas morning. We can't bring joy, health, and happiness to everyone, but we are lucky enough that we can do this for our son. And we can not wait!
Our holiday goal is not to give him the best/most gifts, it is to teach him to be thankful for our accomplishments and blessings. He will grow up knowing how lucky he is and that he can help others. Every year, Joe and I pick a couple of children from the giving tree at the mall to get gifts for. This will be the first of many years, that Liam will participate in this. We also have begun a new tradition of donating food to the local food bank. I know that it is not much, but we will continue to do as much as we can for those who are in need.
If you are wanting to get into the "real" holiday spirit, I have a book suggestion for you. One of my students gave me a copy of a book that her father wrote about his experiences here in the Portland area, during a holiday season when he was a child. It is a tear-jerker, but it will put you in a wonderful mind-set for the holidays. I plan on reading it to Liam every year- along with The Night Before Christmas : ). The books is called, "The Paper Bag Christmas" by: Kevin Alan Milne. Happy reading and Happy Holidays to all!!