Each family’s holiday traditions are precious and, one hopes, the children and grandchildren will remember and continue them. But as we move on, and our lives change dramatically, our traditions must change too.

And, as single people, we can strive and thrive through holiday seasons by bringing cheer to others.

For example, we always had Thanksgiving dinner at home, but when our children married, they began going to their in-laws’ celebrations and we started holding our celebration a day or so after the holiday.

This year, I’m joining our daughter at her  in-laws’ Thanksgiving Day dinner, and we’re celebrating again in my home two days later. As usual, my niece and her family will join us, but this year we’ve added new faces too.

They include two men in our social group who no longer have wives at home and a woman who recently became a widow.

When I called to ask that friend what she’s doing on Saturday, Nov. 28, she said,  “Nothing, and it’s my birthday!”

“Terrific,” I answered, ” We’ll put a candle in the pumpkin pie!”

Of course, no holiday can be the same when you’ve lost a loved one. But  we’ve  found that helping others get through the day helps us too.

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Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen, host of www.widowslist.com, also writes the weekly DR.JOB column syndicated by Career News Service. A member of The Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and The University of Illinois Media Alumni Hall of Fame, Ms. Pesmen is author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide,“ and “Writing for the Media: Public Relations and the Press.” A reporter, features writer and editor, this business journalist was features editor of Crain’s Chicago Business from its inception in 1978 to 1990, when she became corporate features editor for its parent, Crain Communications Inc. She also wrote the monthly Executive Woman column in North Shore magazine in suburban Chicago for many years. Previously, she was a reporter and features writer for the Chicago Daily News.

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