Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Making Family a Priority This Holiday Season
How One Local Mother Does It

by Katrina R. Holtmeier

December 01, 2012

Life is busy. Sometimes you may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete your “to do” lists. The holidays can make packed schedules even more complicated. If you have trouble finding time for the most important people in your life, your family and friends, you are not alone.

One local mom has found a way to prioritize her goals and nurture her most important relationships throughout the holiday season. Tish Lashua, of Indianapolis, lives within eleven miles of downtown. She is a self-proclaimed holiday junkie who loves to reminisce about memorable holiday moments and gifts she’s received or given. During the holidays, she feels it is essential to spend as much time as possible with family because their love and compassion is so important.

“We are the witnesses to each other’s lives,” she said. “We make memories together, we learn from each other and we teach each other. We are comfort and security for each other, and we have a lot of fun together.”

Lashua, 31, and her husband have four children. During the holiday season they have several family traditions they keep, including devoting one weekend to nothing but making cookies and candies inspired by Lashua’s late grandmother. Enough goodies are made to fill about 50 tins to give to teachers, family, friends and coworkers. She said this not only reminds her of her grandmother, but it allows her to spend time with the most important people in her life. “I love accomplishing such a large task together and giving others a hand-crafted gift that has such a great inspiration to me.”

Lashua’s family also likes to visit downtown Indianapolis during the holiday season. There are several attractions from which to choose including the Circle of Lights Tree Lighting at Monument Circle, Christmas at the Zoo, Jolly Days Wonderland at the Children’s Museum, Celebrate the Season by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and more. These events, plus light displays and holiday décor, get people in the spirit of the season, she said.

“I love the holidays because of what it brings out in people. There’s a giving nature that comes out in so many of us. It is beautiful to see that giving nature be so prominent,” Lashua said.

Although her family spends a lot of time together, she said it is never enough and feels Christmas is a good time to both catch up and slow down. “I love to savor the life I have and I try to teach my kids to do the same,” she said. “This does not mean I don’t almost lose my mind each year (buying) gifts, wrapping and delivering them, trimming a tree, decorating a home and attending event after event. But slowing down and savoring life and family is what I know is important each Christmas.”

According to a Penn State University web site article by Family and Consumer Science Educator Karen Thomas, research shows that families who spend time together are strong families who appreciate each other. Spending time as a family unit provides an opportunity to get to know each other better. These families communicate more and share a sense of belonging. A child who grows up in a family that spends quality time together learns that family is important and that they are loved. These things encourage personal growth and happiness as they grow older.

One of the greatest gifts of the holiday season, the article states, is the gift of time with family.

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, spend some time to think about what will make this holiday “the most wonderful time of the year” for your family.