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Nostalgia Benefits Age Esteem

November 23rd, 2017

“Wake up, Bonnie. It’s Thanksgiving!” As I raised my sleepy head from the pillow, I began singing with my sister Suzy, “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go. The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow. Oh!” We loved Thanksgiving Day.

During my early childhood, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated at my paternal grandparents. Cousins, aunts and uncles who we saw only on that day, would arrive to share in the feast and happy banter. It was a day of conversation, laughter, aromas, flavors, colorful foods, and a feeling of pure happiness to be together around the table. It was a day of joy, peace, and love.  – At least that is how I always remember it.

When our tummies were full and we could not eat another mouthful of even the delicious pies, the men would retire for a philosophical discussion in the living room, and the women would gather in the kitchen to chat, pack left-overs, and wash dishes.  This was a special time for us children, too. We were free to roam through the rambling house, seeking treasures like the old fox neck wrap in the middle drawer of the front bedroom, or secret places like the stair step that opened to show a tool chest underneath. We always seemed to discover something new.

Then, all too soon, it was time to drive home through the snowy, unpaved roads of the times. Suzy and I would snuggle up together to keep warm in the unheated back seat of the car. Just when we were really getting chilled to the bone, we would arrive home. Mom would make us hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top to warm us before we curled up in our beds to doze off with happy memories of the day.

Research shows that it is beneficial to be nostalgic about our earlier years. It improves our sense of well-being and gives us a more positive outlook on the future to remember happy moments. Nostalgia is good for your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

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