Tis the season to be jolly…families gathering, Christmas caroling, Chanukah menorah lightings, parties unending; it is also the season of renewal, new beginnings and farewells to the old days.

It has been my custom to get away from the commercial hype of this season, and take a long trip to faraway lands. This year the whole family is gathering in Phoenix and the party has already begun.

My granddaughter (a 19 y.o. college sophomore), just got home and we spent a Happy Hour in my library loft. This is my most private place; the place I write, and the only people with unrestricted access to this sanctuary are my wife and grandchildren. My grandkids (ages 3-19) have been playing here since they were old enough to climb up the spiral staircase. Then it becomes a place of basketball tournaments, music, games (Jack’s, pickup sticks, pin-the-tail), lots of stories and clowning.

But this evening we just shmoozed…talked about everything from choosing a major, and a junior year abroad; to the life we choose to live. With my gifted, literate, fiercely independent granddaughter, we talked about the life we live, and the one we dream about.

I’m in the winter of my life, and in my feisty, funny, freethinking granddaughters presence, I find the power to face the rest of my life joyfully. This is the season of cheer; celebrate the true meaning of these holidays while you still have the chance. Surround yourself with those you love, from the beginning to the end it all comes down to loving relationships.

The most common regrets of people before they die is that they wished they hadn’t worked so hard, expressed their feelings more, and had the courage to live a life that’s true to themselves, and not the life others expected of them ( HYPERLINK “http://inspirationandchai.com” http://inspirationandchai.com). Don’t look back on your life and see only dreams that went unfulfilled. This is the season to say goodbye to whatever keeps you from living the life you want to live.

I’m deliriously happy to be home for the holidays, surrounded by all my children and grandchildren. As I look at my life… I want to say Thank You, Great Spirit for the goodness, beauty and blessings that surround me.

To all of you Relatives, this is the season to love the ones you’re with. I send you my blessings for a healthy and productive year.

I say this For All My Relations….Mi Takuye Oyacin.