Season of Gratitude

November 23, 2022 Austin DuBois

It’s that time of year again! Sometimes the Holiday Season is called the Season of Giving, but I like calling it the Season of Gratitude, for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, it’s that time of year when we as a society set aside time for our family, friends, and communities. We take a lot of days off for the holidays, so regardless of which or whether you specifically celebrate those on the calendar, we all get this time to spend with our loved ones. I’m extraordinarily grateful for that time, and even though as a child I of course loved getting gifts, what I really remember about the holidays growing up, and certainly cherish more than anything now, is getting to spend so much time eating and laughing and being around my family, friends, and community, between dinners, parties, and events.

As a business owner, it is also the time of year when you look back on how the calendar year has gone for the business. This gives me time to reflect on how fortunate I feel to have the team I have, and the clients we have that make it a pleasure to come into work every day. None of us want to be married to the office, but we are certainly here a lot, and having each other, and all of you, to keep us company and have fun and interesting conversations and sometimes challenging but always rewarding situations to solve together make it much more than just a way to make a living–it truly is a lifestyle and a calling that I wouldn’t give up for anything else.

The other big reason I don’t love to call it the Season of Giving is that the cynical side of me feels like that was a term that some corporate executive at Macy’s came up with back in the 1950s to promote sales. Of course, there are a number of great local businesses with great gift ideas (my own side business, Newburgh Yoga Shala, is one of them!), but to me, the biggest gift you can give your loved ones does not come in a box. Your genuine attention, compassion and appreciation is all that really is necessary (if you have young children, please still get them gifts–though take it easy on the plastic and electronics, they will be fine, and probably better off without it). Sometimes it can be difficult within families to be truly appreciative and compassionate, after years, often decades, of a relationship where you become intimately familiar with someone’s faults or annoying idiosyncrasies. But take this time to look at them as you would a young child. Flawed, and sometimes (maybe even often!) frustrating, but beautiful and deserving of all of your love. Our job here as Trusts & Estates and Elder Law attorneys very often has us helping families dealing with the loss of a loved one, whether it be to dementia or death, and while we cannot prevent that, we can ensure that our time spent with them on this Earth is real and meaningful. Take that time and maybe some of that perspective this year to be truly grateful for the loved ones in your life, and let them know it.

But for me, for now, my gratitude goes out to all of you in the DuBois Law Group extended family. Thank you for making this year one of the most exciting yet, and I’m sure you’ll make that easy for me to say each year in all the years we all together have ahead of us. Happy Holidays!