Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus for the rest of us. The U.S. is a great melting pot with a whole host of holidays, religious occasions, and events to observe. This time of year reminds me how important it is to just enjoy time and memories with friends and family.

So many people lament at how far behind they are with holiday preparations, shopping, and, of course, cleaning. Others worry that they do not have the money to purchase gifts, hold parties, or celebrate holidays the way that others expect or they expect of themselves.

Many others are anxious about family celebrations and dealing with people who have differing views or someone they simply do not like. All of this adds extreme pressure to a busy time of year.

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Holidays are not just about gifts or get-togethers. They are all about taking small moments and turning them into great memories. I have children who are now grown. I have come to appreciate the small things in life. I love decorating our Christmas tree with homemade ornaments made by little hands many years ago. I love baking with family and visiting relatives that live far and near. I love watching holiday movies.

Perhaps my favorite thing to do is reminisce about my childhood holidays, trips, and funny events that happened long ago. I didn’t know it at the time, but the real gifts of those holidays were the memories we were making and the great time we had with each other.

Yes, I get stressed out along with everyone else, but I remind myself every day that I am so blessed. I am blessed to have a job that I love that makes a difference in the lives of girls and young women. I am blessed with good health and friends. I am most blessed to have a happy home and life that I share with my loved ones.

I know I will get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday. But I look forward to looking back on the additional memories I made with dear family and friends.