By the time you are all reading this blog, I hope you are all relaxed from the holidays and still enjoying those Christmas gifts and New Years Resolutions. Whether you spent this holiday with your family, friends, or by yourself, I hope you all had a safe and happy holiday. It is always nice to get this time off and spend it with loved ones – and it is nice to just relax! 

I wanted to share with you all some of my holiday traditions and how I spent this past weekend with my family. Well, I guess I can back up to the stressful part of the holidays: preparing! Usually, the week before Christmas I am completely and utterly stressed out due to employee Christmas stuff, customer appreciation Christmas stuff, and of course the family Christmas stuff. This year was especially stressful, I am not going to sugar coat it – and it took me longer than expected to get to this point. I know the holidays are about relaxing and being happy, so I tried to cut myself some slack and not worry as much about all the other details. I feel like we all get caught up in our own mess during the holiday season. 

Anyway, I do LOVE the lights, the feel, and of course the magic that Christmas brings. There is something about the hope and the anticipation of Christmas – I must be a lover of chaos because that certainly is what Christmas time can bring! One part of Christmas that I cannot stand is the commercialization of it. This is the part that really gets to me every year. Don’t get me wrong, I love to give, I do it all year round, and I am fortunate to be able to do so. But, I don’t like how advertisements shove material things in our faces for a month just to make money – it takes away from the spirit. 

Usually, I go looking at the big Christmas lights because that part always fills me with so much joy and awe. It’s a nice thing to do when I need to let myself breathe! Aside from looking at the lights, my favorite aspect is spending time with loved ones. 

My immediate loved ones came to my house and I cooked a Christmas Eve dinner.  I love to cook for others! I went through a time where I was done with it, but lately I have taken to doing it again and loving it.  Last year I made a turkey for thanksgiving and prime rib for Christmas Eve.  Both were firsts for me and turned out excellent!  I made chocolate fondue for dessert, because how could I pass that up!!   

I also love to sit in front of the fire and Christmas tree and open gifts. My grandson’s face is priceless and watching it light up when he opened his presents was such a treat for everyone. I have never been happier! 

Christmas Day is my mom’s birthday – double the celebration! – and Christmas is also my mom’s favorite holiday. My mom loves to go crazy with gifts.  When my children were little, you couldn’t fit anything else in the room but the tree and the gifts she had for them!  Back then, things didn’t cost so much and that was easier to do. She misses those days… but I don’t! Too much to carry and never enough room at home. I know for a fact that I get my giving nature from my mom.

This year the four kids, thirteen grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren all celebrated at her house. This was the sixth year without my dad. We miss him, and it will always be tough, but we know that he was there with us.  

I can’t forget that owning a 24/7 towing business had me working the holidays, too. Although working on Christmas isn’t the best, I am grateful for a great team to work with. I am also  thankful for all first responders & healthcare workers who were working alongside us this Christmas. 

I hope you and your families had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let’s see what great opportunities this year brings us!

Michelle Sukow