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Over this past Thanksgiving weekend I kept hearing this popular holiday song playing on the radio and began thinking about all the changes America has experienced since this song was first introduced. Most likely none of us took a sleigh to visit Grandma; and very likely many of us traveled to a condo or a PVM Village to visit with their parents and grandparents. However, some universal concepts and experiences carry on through the changing decades. Among these are:


The Importance of Tradition
A sense of belonging and constancy for children and grandchildren is helped along by maintaining family traditions. One family every Christmas rings a bell at the top of the stairs when they are the first to awaken; and everyone gathers there to view the first sight of the tree and presents all together. Many Jewish families light the Hanukah candles together and recite Hebrew as they carry on this tradition. Every faith and country has traditions which are carried on for generations. It is important to instill this love of tradition in our children since it provides a tie to their family background and values.

The Honor Given to Our Elders
Many countries revere their elders. And in many cases that is true in America. Yet there are many instances of exploitation, abuse and neglect of our elders. These are among the most despicable crimes imaginable. It has been said that a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. We all need to step up our actions to look out for others and report these situations.

Taking Care of Our Parents and Grandparents
Our parents gave us life and raised us to the best of their ability. I have little tolerance for grown adults who complain about what their parents did or did not do for them and use that as an excuse to be less than they can be. It is important to help our parents when they need assistance, to make sure that they know they are loved and not alone and to provide moments of joy through family gatherings or some of those traditions mentioned earlier. Make sure they are visited by family and friends. A grandchild can spark joy in ways that very few other can. Keep in mind that one of the best examples we can set for our children is to show love and care for their grandparents. We reap what we sow. They will probably model after us when it comes time for us to need their help. Enjoy the upcoming holidays and share them with someone you love!