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  • Writer's pictureMaria H. Drzaszcz

Remembering the reason for this season



Maria H. Drzaszcz and her children

Starting early October and November, our mailboxes and minds are flooded with holiday “stuff”. Most of this stuff hinges around gift giving and presents. The sales start, the holiday commercials are on every channel and the mailbox is filled with every imaginable catalog. Whoa! Hold on, we’re barely through Halloween. Then it becomes the list time. Wish list for the kids and to-do list for the adults.


Nowadays, it’s very easy to forget why we celebrate this beautiful season. We get so overloaded with the “commercial” aspects of Christmas, that we sometimes forget what it’s truly about. We are stressed, running from place to place, checking off a list that’s as long as ever and in the process, forgetting why we even celebrate in the first place. We are all guilty of this. As my kids are getting older, I’m finding it important to teach the reason for season and gratitude. Also, as worldly current events play out on the news, many children and families all over the world are not as fortunate as many of us right now. Here are some tips we can all incorporate into our households to remember this joyous time and reflect on the many blessings we are lucky to have.


Doing something nice for someone or giving back in the community. This can be as simple as buying someone a cup of coffee in line, caroling for senior citizens, buying toys or coats for less fortunate children, or even donating a box of toys to Goodwill. There are endless opportunities out there and I think it is an important lesson for kids and adults alike. Show your children the holidays are for giving, not just getting.


It’s not all about how much or how big. Santa and presents are a wonderful part of Christmas. Of course, children won’t be little for long. The presents will change as the kids grow up. However, it’s up us to show our littles what is important. If you don’t want the holidays to be about “stuff”, then don’t make huge piles of stuff appear. Something they want, need, wear and to read. This is a lot more than some kids will ever have. We are the ones to teach that happiness does not come from having the biggest pile of gifts or the absolute hottest/most sought after “thing” of this year.


Gifting experiences instead. Time spent with one another is truly a gift. As an alternative to some of the stuff, try gifting experiences, such as amusement park or movie tickets, some type of lesson, etc. This will be time well spent with loved ones and invaluable memories made. After all, we don’t know how long we may or may not have with a grandparent, uncle, aunt or anyone in our life.


Displaying gratitude. Give thanks to whoever it may be in your life. This can be at a place of worship or just thanking a friend. Listen to others and be kind. Listen to others the way you want to be heard. It can also be helpful to have young children list or write one thing that they are thankful for each day this season. It puts things in perspective.


Let’s all pause for a moment from our chaotic schedules and take time to appreciate the small blessings around us and this beautiful season.


Blessings to you and yours this Christmas.


Maria H. Drzaszcz, a Hammonton resident, is a registered nurse with 14 years critical care experience and is the proud mom of three young children.

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