Winter arrived at my house last night (Saturday). We awoke this morning to around 6 to 9 inches of snow and the sound of the snowplow in our driveway. In spite of the cold and all the work required to plow and shovel, the sight of the first real winter storm is always lovely. As I write this blog we are waiting for our children and grandchildren to arrive safely from California. We have finished hiding all presents so the kids will be very surprised on Christmas. I have baby-proofed my house, taken out the bath toys and sippy cups and been to the supermarket far too many times. I have a roast cooking in the crock pot so dinner will be set even if there are any plane delays. I am about to sit down with a good book and enjoy the last few hours of quiet before the house explodes with the joy and noise of everyone arriving. For the next two weeks my husband and I will have the pleasure of reading bedtime stories, giving baths, taking trips to the science museum and indoor playlands. Because two of our children and all our grandchildren live so far away, we savor every second of our time together.I hope that all the grandparents reading this blog will remember how important the time is between grandparents and grandchildren. It isn’t about the presents…though certainly it is fun watching kids open gifts. It is about time together, the quiet moments snuggling, the one on one conversations during bath time or in the car, building with legos or playing games and baking together . My 5 year old grandson told me the other night that he is a great sous chef! He then told me exactly what a sous chef is.
I also know that holiday time can put a lot of stress on families. This year in particular, many families are facing an enormous number of challenges. Loss of jobs, decrease in pay and the normal stress that comes from a holiday that has such high and impossible expectations for joy and perfection can lead to family conflict. Schedules are changed; less sleep, more food and alcohol and time with relatives that are difficult to be with can lead some people to react with inappropriate levels of anger and even violence. Reports of domestic violence increase between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault please know that you are not alone. There are resources out there willing and able to help you. I hope no man or women is hurt during this holiday season. I truly hope this is a time of peace and joy for everyone. But, realistically, I know that some of you are risk to be hurt. So, with my good wishes for a wonderful holiday season, below are the resources some of you might need. Please do not hesitate to call them.
To get immediate help and support
call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
or the National Sexual Assault Hotline