“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” - Leo Christopher
And Happy Early Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.
This upcoming week is my favorite week of the year. I can’t pinpoint why, but Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.
As a kid, it was probably a combination of many things. Four straight days of football (that was before football was basically on every day of the week all season,) family gatherings with late-night poker games, and the day after Thanksgiving was our official ‘put up the Christmas decorations’ day. Some of my favorite childhood memories are decorating the tree with my Mom and helping my Dad put up lights outside.
As an adult, Thanksgiving week is still a perfect combo of my favorite things.
My buddies and I have a tradition that goes back to high school of getting together on Thanksgiving Eve. I go without seeing some of them all year, but you can count on us all being together the night before Thanksgiving. These guys are less like friends and more like family. I love every one of them with everything I’ve got, so it’s a special night.
On Thanksgiving day, it’s family time. Fortunately, my love of Thanksgiving has been passed on to my daughter. It doesn’t equal her passion for Halloween, but she loves cooking and baking with her Mom, and as soon as the Thanksgiving talk begins, she starts asking when we are going to have our “feast.” The fact that she gets so excited makes it that much more enjoyable.
Friday is still ‘put up the Christmas decorations’ day. My wife has her own tradition with one of her best friends of going Black Friday shopping every year. So, I get to hang out with my daughter all day. We haul in all the decorations from the garage and put the tree up. My daughter begins decorating the tree while I do all the stuff that requires heavy lifting and when my wife gets home, she does all the fine-tuning. I cherish this day because I fear that when my daughter gets a little older, she will want to go shopping with Mom instead of hanging out with dear old Dad.
And then there is Saturday. The most important sporting event of the entire year.
I am a die-hard University of Michigan fan. And I live in Ohio. Not a great combination. For those who aren’t sports fanatics, Michigan and Ohio State are huge rivals. They play every season in the last game, and more often than not, there is a lot at stake.
Most importantly, bragging rights. When Michigan loses, I have to listen to these fucking Buckeye fans all year. And the last two decades have been rough, as Ohio State has dominated the rivalry. But last year, everything returned to right in the world as Michigan steamrolled them. Hoping for more of the same this year.
The Importance of Quality Time
There is no better week to discuss the significance of family time, especially quality time with your children.
A few weeks ago, I came across this great article about the importance of family time. According to the author, the number one thing children want from their parents when asked is time. And this time doesn’t have to be spent on outlandish activities or blowing money in an attempt to make great memories. It’s all about quality and focus.
Being “with” your children while you do the dishes and they sit 15 feet away watching TV isn’t quality time. Talking to them about what is important to them, playing a game with them, or just going for a walk with them is. Just be sure they have your undivided attention.
There are four significant benefits of quality family time the article mentions.
Developing self-esteem in children: Simply feeling like their parents value them can make children feel more positive about themselves.
Strengthening family bond: Studies have shown that families who enjoy group activities not only share a stronger emotional bond but also can adapt well to situations as a family.
Creating happy memories: To me, this is the most critical part of the article. Children with happy family memories are more likely to create a loving environment for their own children. This is the ultimate act of paying it forward. I can’t think of anything more important than doing our part to ensure that future generations grow up in loving and caring homes.
Helping parents and children reconnect: Children tend to open up more when participating in an activity they enjoy than when they are being questioned and probed. It’s a more natural way to discover what is happening in your children’s lives.
For those of you with a long weekend coming up, set aside some quality time with your children. You won’t regret it. And if you don’t have children, set aside some quality time with your parents if possible. After all, you’re still their child, and it’s never too late to benefit from some quality time with your parents.
I am an ardent supporter of animal rights. I don’t eat animals or wear clothing made from animals, and the first charities to get my money are always animal rights groups.
Over the years, I have had more than my fair share of debates with people about whether or not animals have feelings, how much they feel, what they are and are not aware of, and whether they should have the same rights we do.
This video of a chimpanzee reuniting with its baby after an emergency C-section is all the proof I need to know that they feel and love just as we do. Family is important to all.
That’s all for now.
I hope you all have a great week!
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Christmas decorating day is the best! I've always put up and decorated the tree with my grandma and I still look forward to doing it with her every year. I have a feeling your daughter is always going to cherish that tradition through the years.