It seems like the holiday shopping “season” comes earlier and earlier each year. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday the expectations to start buying gifts as soon as possible has become the norm. But this year the team at Main Street Heating and Cooling is focusing on the things that you can’t put a price tag on: Our traditions.
Every family has their own traditions—the small rituals that keep us grounded and remind us that the holiday season is about being thankful for the wonderful blessings in our lives. These traditions, many of which have been with us since we were kids, are the thoughtful reminders that people rather than presents are the better meaning of the holidays.
My family traditions started with storytelling. Every season our dad would read the story of the birth of Christ out of Luke hand written on a wood and leather scroll that my oldest brother made (he always was a little bit of an overachiever and we love him for it!). Our stockings always had peanuts and oranges in them. No idea how that started but over time it didn’t matter—it was part of how we “did” the holidays together. As an adult and a father I look back on those times differently than I did as a child. The simplicity of something as seemingly easy as an orange or a handful of peanuts is a symbol of caring, of giving, of love. These are the things that Brent and I are carrying over to our own families these days.
As a father I want my children to also understand the importance of simple giving. My wife always makes sure that we support a family in need during the holidays. We know that we are incredibly fortunate in our lives and feel it’s equally important that our children appreciate not only their blessings but the significance of helping those who are less fortunate. We also make sure to open our home to friends who’s family and loved ones live far away. For us, the spirit of giving extends beyond the gifts under the tree (which, by the way, we open Christmas eve). I can’t say enough about the importance that helping others plays in our lives.
Of course, the holiday season can’t be complete without a visit to our parents. Over the years I’ve been perfecting a chocolate cheesecake recipe that’s become my “go to” contribution to our holiday dinner. Somehow, mysteriously, there’s always a piece of cheesecake missing by the time we’re ready to head over to the in-laws. My kids deny knowing who the culprit is…and then smile. It cracks us all up.
Over the years, I’ve strived to teach my children that the holiday season is about so much more than receiving gifts. It’s about giving gifts. And the gifts that I want them to remember, the traditions that I want them to understand, are that we—all of us—can give of ourselves in better and richer ways all year long. The season of giving is something that should never be confined by a few weeks on a calendar. It’s something that should be part of who we are and what we do all year long. Traditions are reminders of these things. Small gestures that put a smile on our face or make us laugh can be magnified many time over. All it takes is an open heart, a warm smile, and little acts of kindness.
Our traditions have been part of my family for years. It’s a privilege to share them with you. So from my family to yours, and with the warmest wishes from the Main Street Heating and Cooling family, we wish you a fantastic holiday season.