Christmas is a time for the young…..and the old!

It seems like I just put all the Christmas stuff away! The annual dragging of the brittle, petrified Christmas tree down to the woods, the packing away of our Christmas dishes and the unstringing of holiday lights from inside and out, all seem so….recent. Did we really go through a winter, spring, summer and fall since then? I must be older than I realize, because I’m starting to experience time in nano-seconds. Not good. In any case, the holidays are upon us. Even though it sounds like I’m griping, I’m really not. I do love this time of the year. The key is to ignore the hype and realize that just because stores are super stocked with merchandise, you are not obligated to buy it! Just walk past the pyramid display of boxed fleece slippers, bread makers and the latest must-have laptops. And since when did diamond earrings and gold watches become “stocking stuffers?”

So the shopping thing is a little crazy, but I do enjoy the get-togethers, the hugs and friendly recriminations that we really “must get together more often!” I love to make holiday cookies with my daughter every year, pick out our Christmas tree and sit by the fire with a glass of wine when the house is decorated!

It is truly a time of family, celebration and reflection. We embrace the opportunity to spend time with our family and reminisce, too, on those who are no longer with us.

In the midst of all the gatherings and festivities, I always notice a social dynamic brought about by human nature and the recurring role of each generation.  Typically, the children run from room to room, watch TV or play games with periodic shouts of warning from their parents. Young and mature adults form hubs of lively conversation amongst themselves as relates to their busy, day to day lives. Meanwhile, the elders often sit quietly off to the side. They are not able to run about like the children nor do their lives reflect the day to day intensity of the young and mature adults. They are in that part of the life cycle where their lives have slowed down and they are now the observers.

It is a bittersweet time and one which we will all experience. In the meantime, though, when you are at such a gathering over the holidays, or any time of the year, and you see one of the more elderly guests sitting alone, make a point of going over to them. Sit down and a have chat, see if they need anything. Whether it’s your relative or a friend’s, just spend a little time with them. They, too, are part of the festivities and would like to be included. They probably have holiday memories they would like to share.

So, happy holidays to one and all! Enjoy your traditions, gatherings, family and friends!

Reminder – All are welcome to attend Bethel’s 13th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting event on Thursday, December 6 at 5:15 p.m., at The Pines, 19 Narragansett Avenue, in Ossining.  Come by and sing along to traditional Carols, visit with Santa and enjoy some sweet and savory refreshments! Call 739-6700 x1220, for more information.

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