So chances are you’ve already heard, but the oldest living person in the WORLD is living right here in Iowa! 115 years old! Wow! Today, I sat down with her grandson, to try and figure out what her “secret” is. He said part of it might have something to do with how much garlic and wine she’s consumed in her life (music to my ears: I happen to love a good glass of wine) but more than that, he mentioned just how important her family has been to her all these years, and how their closeness may have been the key.
That got me thinking about my family. If that’s true, my parents are going to live to be like 200, because their lives revolve around family. My family is always together- cousins, aunts, uncles, we all gather at any opportunity we can. And I mean any (for some people it might be a little much, but for us it works.) We hang out so much, the normal holidays and birthdays just don’t seem to be enough- we even make some up.
This past weekend I actually got to be a part of one such holiday, one which just so happens to be my favorite holiday. It’s called “Pre-Christmas.” This holiday has been going on for over 30 years in my family. Every year, you pick a name, and keep it secret. Then you have that whole year to make a gift for your person. The first weekend in December we all get together, for food, family time, and to open our gifts. This year, they seemed to be even more thoughtful and creative than ever.
I had my cousin (and one of my closest friends). She is a huge Packer fan, so with the help of one of my very talented friends here in Iowa, I made her a T-shirt Dress!
I received some homemade leg warmers from my aunt (that have buttons from my grandmother’s button collection she had passed on to her), as well as an incredible “picture” to hang in my apartment- a collage of some of my stories and blogs.
Other gifts included homemade candles, for my mom who has about a zillion of them in her house, a purse for my sister, and a spy kit for my younger cousin (see picture above). The gifts were great, but this “holiday” isn’t about the gifts- its about the thought behind it. And if that sort of thing is the secret to living a long happy life, then count me in. :)
Let me know about your family/holiday traditions! Or what you think the “secret” to a long happy life is.