Well, it’s the beginning of the holiday season - when we enjoy the company of family and also gain seven pounds before the start of the New Year. But while visiting with parents, children, grandchildren or all three, it can be difficult navigating around and through past hurts and slights that are brought to family gatherings along with gifts and holiday treats.
But I found this advice that might help avoid the traps and difficulties often encountered at family gatherings. It is from the website Next Avenue (http://www.nextavenue.org/), a service of several PBS stations that offers advice on health and well-being, living and learning, work and finances and caregiving.
First, bury the hatchet (and although tempted - not in someone’s back!). You may not forget past wrongs, but try to maintain a spirit of forgiveness.
Second, keep your mouth shut! Well, not exactly. But hold your tongue – even when they have it all wrong! Follow the advice of Rumi, a 13th Century Persian poet and philosopher, who suggested before you speak let your words pass through three gates. "At the first gate, ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ At the second ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask, ‘Is it kind?’”
Third, simplify and reduce stress. Don’t be totally worn out when guests arrive. Determine ahead of time what is essential and what is not. And skip what is not.
Fourth, sneak in a few breaks to relax before, during and after the gathering.
Fifth, reinvent your traditions. Find a new location for the gathering. Or go as a family to help volunteer for a community event. Think outside the turkey roll.
Sixth, rethink your gift giving. Donate on behalf of your loved one to a non-profit. Or give “experience” gifts: tickets to the theater or a gift card to a restaurant they would not normally visit.
Families are our support system in times of trouble; our connections to the past and future. And when families are so scattered and often disconnected, the time together is a special time to be enjoyed and savored.
The 11:00 Tuesday Lecture at the Center on December 3rd will be “Creative Aging: Using the Creative Arts to enhance your health and well-being”. Debra Jones who has offered the popular Creative Arts program at the Center will share her perspectives on the value of the creative arts.
You have had a chance to buy raffle tickets for the quilt hanging in the Center’s lobby since July, but time is running out with the drawing on December 21st during the Center’s annual Christmas Breakfast sponsored by The Springs at Mill Creek. You can purchase raffle tickets at the Center - one for a $1.00, seven for $5.00, or I’ll make you a deal. How about eighty for $50? You can find a picture of the quilt on the Center’s website at midcolumbiaseniorcenter.com.
Okay it wasn’t easy to read last week’s music announcement - maybe the vowels are as important as they think. So I will bring back last week’s missing vowels and include them in this week’s music announcement. That should make it easier, right?
Ono Tueesdaya Deoecemeber 3rd, Tohe Storawobeirery Mioeunatiain Boanod uwill bie peaiying faor yoiur lisateyning auned deaonacinig enijoyomenot. Deooros oopen aot 6:00 aond aot 7:00 tehe mausuic sitarats faleying tehorougih tehe aoir leike lieaves uon ai buluseteroy daoy. Dionaotions arae apapreceiated aond everiyone and teheir beust fariend aere welecome.
Many folks remembered the Weigelts: brothers Paul and Gus plus sister Edna, who bought the bookstore from Inwer Nickelsen. And after they sold it to Phil and Linda Klindt in 1981, Edna continued working there until she was 91. (The winner of a free Saturday breakfast on December 21st is Virgil Choate.)
This week’s “Remember When” question was suggested by Alex Currie. Who was the silent movie star of westerns, the “King of Cowboys" when Ronald Reagan and John Wayne were mere children, and made over 291 films during his career? And for bonus points, what was the name of his horse that was even given costar billing in several movies? E-mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or drive you answer to the Center in a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton.
Well, it has been another week trying to keep my hands warm while thinking 100 plus degree heat during the summer wasn’t that bad. Until we meet again, from Oprah Winfrey, the sage of daytime television, “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”