By: Victoria James
Congratulations to "Anita H", the winner of Victoria's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
The Gift of Gratitude…
Growing up, I was very fortunate: I had two loving parents and a lot of extended family. My parents were both immigrants from Italy and had worked hard to build a life for themselves in this country. Their immigrant story is one that is shared by so many in North America-they came here without a thing, or a dime to their names, or even knowledge of the language. But they had determination and they needed to succeed. This story was part of my upbringing. I knew how hard my parents had worked to give us a roof over our head and the clothes on our backs. I knew that all my relatives shared that same story.
Now that I have children, things are different…we are the second generation in Canada and we have so many luxuries that our parents didn’t have. Higher education is more accessible to us than our parent’s generation and we were given the start that our parents never had.
So then, how do we instill a sense of gratitude in a generation of children that have so much? I’m not talking extreme wealth, but your average middle-of-the-road family. Kids visit each other and everyone has a house, a family car or two, plenty of food to eat and new clothes. Of course, you do what you can to remind them to say please and thank you and talk about those less fortunate. You participate in the school charity drives, in local events and donations, maybe a charity or different fundraisers throughout the year. But do your kids really get it?
The other night we were at my parent’s house for dinner and my son (who just turned seven years old) had a big frown and pout because my mom didn’t have any dessert. In all fairness to him, ‘Nonna’ does have quite the reputation for desserts. But, I was very disappointed when I saw his reaction. And I was embarrassed. Because he didn’t get over it right away. When I pointed out that it was rude, he continued to ‘not get’ my point. So I extended it. And I reminded him of all those kids out there who didn’t have dinner. Or lunch. And would go to bed hungry that night-if they even had a bed to sleep in. Well, I went on and on until I saw it: the recognition, the compassion. And when he cried, even though it hurt me to see him cry, a part of me was relieved that finally understood my point. We are so blessed, and to not realize and to not feel gratitude for the life we are living makes me very sad. That night before he went to bed he told me again how bad he felt for the kids who didn’t have enough food or a warm bed to sleep in. This is something I’m determined to keep enforcing, not just at the holidays, but always.
In my holiday release, The Billionaire’s ChristmasBaby, Jackson Pierce had a perfect childhood-until a death changed everything. The tragedy shattered his family, and he grew to hate the holidays, and everything that reminded him of the people he had lost. Hannah Woods, the woman who is about to challenge all his beliefs grew up with nothing, with no one. And yet, it is Hannah who teaches him the importance of family ties, and the power of forgiveness. Somehow, the two of them must overcome their pasts and find a way to be the family that both of them secretly desire…
What about you? What are you grateful for? How do you instill that sense of gratitude in your children?
I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon GC and a copy of my book, The Best Man’s Baby to one commenter.
Victoria James always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples) and a cardboard cover, and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again. In high school she fell in love with historical romance, and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill the dream of writing romantic fiction. Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-afters for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and a very bad cat. Victoria loves connecting with readers, and you can find her online at:
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Dec. 13th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.