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Monday, June 27, 2022

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Time Flies

Time flies, and I was always told when you have kids it goes even faster! I realize that now with a 6 year old at home.

My little Samantha is in the first grade and I am just mesmerized watching her. And, I don’t want to miss a minute.

It can all seem so overwhelming, managing a career and family. So, especially, during the holiday season, I like to be prepared.

The greatest blessing during the holidays is not the dinners, parties and gifts. It is family and witnessing the joy of a little one. But there is so much to do and such little time!

I begin by getting in the right mindset. I know that may sound silly but it really helps put everything in perspective for me. I live by this motto: the holidays should be filled with joy not stress. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

So I begin with baby steps — early! For me that means throughout the year, if I see little gifts my family and friends would like, I buy them, wrap them and put them away in a box way up high in a closet.

It’s amazing when I take it down how much is already done, which frees up more time for just enjoying the holidays.

I also really try to do the bulk of my gift buying in November because that buys time in December to share and create memories and traditions with my family, especially Samantha.

I read once that many women put it all on themselves to prepare for the holidays, which can feel like a burden. When everyone is included it feels like teamwork.

I incorporate teamwork in all our holiday activities, including the gift buying. Whether it is at the store or online, Samantha helps me pick out presents for others. It’s not only great bonding time, it helps her learn the joy of giving and how much fun it is to get things for others that make them happy.

I also make it very special mother-daughter time. Until two years ago, my schedule seemed ideal. I have two days off during the week and my husband Dave is home on the weekends. But when Samantha started kindergarten, I realized we don’t have a day off together during the school year. This has been very hard on us both, and I need her to know every minute she is my greatest blessing.

I feel that even more during the holidays because all around us we are reminded of what to be grateful for. That is another lesson Dave and I pass on to Samantha. Before all the fun activities at our house, we begin by going through Samantha’s closet and playroom for items we can donate. Dave and I like to do this with her and remind her that there are many children in need. We think it is very important that she is involved in the entire process so she feels apart of it.

We sort everything and personally deliver the items to an organization we choose together. The organization has been different every year, and we educate Samantha about them. We really just offer her guidance on choosing the organization.

It doesn’t stop there. We also participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, which provides needy children with gifts for the holidays. We go as a family and let Samantha choose several angels. We then go shopping to pick out the gifts. We make a night of it. I either make a nice dinner or we go out. We then talk about why this is important to do. It helps Samantha understand the true meaning of the holidays.

It’s just one of our many family traditions. The key for our family is doing all this together. And I love including Samantha in all the planning, from start to finish. She helps me write the lists, go shopping and even cooks and bakes. It makes her so happy that she is involved and it really helps me knowing she is by my side. We are bonding and getting things done at the same time.

I practice the same philosophy when we decorate our house. It is a family activity. I enjoy watching Samantha embrace how special the holidays are. We get dressed up to go to the park, where there is Christmas decorations and she sings in our church’s choir.

Sometimes you just can’t get everything done. For me, just stopping and taking a minute to enjoy what is around me puts it all back in perspective.

Sarina Fazan is a three-time Emmy-award-winning journalist who anchors the 6  and 11 p.m. weekend newscasts for ABC Action News.

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