By Abe Villarreal
All families have their highs and lows. Times of unity, and times of separation. And when you hit a valley, a flood of childhood memories fill your brain.
Like the time you stayed up all night because you couldn’t wait to open your first Christmas gift at the stroke of midnight. Latinos celebrate Christmas during the Noche Buena, at midnight.
My mom always put out a single candle in each window. We didn’t need strings of colorful lights to hang from roof corner to corner. Just that simple candle in each room.
In many ways, it was symbolic of the kind of woman she is as a mother and wife. She shines her bright light wherever she is present. She is pure and poignant. Her elegance grows through the years.
An individual’s small actions show you the true essence of a person.
Don’t you love the holidays? As autumn colors bring a warmer tone to our landscapes, we tend to soften up our approach with each other. For at least a couple of months of the year, we’re making plans to visit each other, and spend quality time learning and appreciating what matters.
Suddenly, time for catching up with friends and loved ones is really important. We value hugs and long conversations. Old-fashioned types of things like warm cookies and classic movies are what are on everyone’s minds.
Elvis Presley once asked why every day could not be just like Christmas. And why couldn’t it?
This year, I’m trying to find a way to bring some extra cheer to my family. As you grow older, you learn to listen and try to understand when times of tribulation occur, seemingly from nowhere.
It’s difficult to comprehend at the beginning, but everything can be a blessing to you. The old saying that these wonderful life lessons often arrive in disguise is true.
If you live several hours away from your family, as I do, all you want to do is meet them at a moment’s notice. Drop everything and be there for them is your gut reaction.
But you can’t. So you turn to God, and you pray, and you leave it to the person that can solve the problem. He is so much more knowledgeable and wise.
Soon, the holidays will be here, and we’ll get together. Look each other in the eyes. There will be laughter and tears. The world will feel safer, and secure again.
The holidays can do that to you, especially if you are still the kid of two loving parents. Doesn’t matter how old you get, you’re a kid when dad is dad, and mom is mom.
I am so blessed, and I know you are too when you have family and the gift of love.
The highs and lows will come, but they will also go. The world keeps turning, and we keep marching forward. This holiday season hold your loved ones a little tighter, and a little longer.
I know I will.
Abe Villarreal is the Director of Communications at Western New Mexico University. When not on campus, he enjoys writing about his observations on marketing, life, people and American traditions.