Kudos to Nancy Vogt’s column on Black Friday in the Echo Journal, but I think the ideas in the column need to go even further and extend even beyond the holidays.
Most of us say family and close relationships are our highest priority, yet in reality those relationships often get short shrift when competing against daily workplace commitments, longer-range career goals and other distractions in life.
A 2008 Gallup poll noted a direct correlation between the days of the year when most Americans experience happiness and the days they report spending more time with friends and family. I would guess if that same poll was done today it would reveal much the same.
It is those traditions that matter and only we can instill and ensure those traditions live on. It’s why deer camp is important, the family reunion is important and making it to life’s bigger events (weddings, funerals, baptisms). All these traditions are a part of instilling values in our family, our children and our grandchildren.
Not spending the time as a family is why many kids struggle in school, struggle with life’s lessons and don’t know what to do. It is also why we as a society have moved away from tradition, have reduced the value of relationships and have instilled a me-first entitlement mentality. Yes, starting new traditions can be fun, but don’t just give up on the old. Commit to spending time with your kids, your grandkids, your neighbors, friends, church and community.
That must-have in the ad for that store open on Thanksgiving is not all that important. That time with families, giving thanks for what we do have, sharing laughs, memories and tradition, is.