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Celebrating the trades

Unless you are a major procrastinator or have green fur and are as “cuddly as a cactus,” your Christmas tree is up and decorated and you are in the full-fledged holiday spirit. Michael Bublé is crooning holiday tunes through your speakers and you’ve already watched “Christmas Vacation” at least once (personally, I’m watching it tonight, but I have already watched “Elf”).

It’s pretty easy to see how we celebrate Christmas, but I propose we add another celebration to our agenda—a celebration that lasts all year long. What if we celebrated the trades? What would that look like?

We probably won’t go around wearing lineman gaffs or welding helmets to commemorate the trades. We might not decorate a power pole (please don’t) or send out cards to our friends and family, but we can actively celebrate our tradesmen and women on a daily basis.

Here’s some ideas for this holiday season and all year long:

Be patient

For many folks who work in the trades, their jobs are not easy. They take time and skill. So, instead of howling about not having power for the last hour, sing their praise. Give our tradespeople grace and have patience with them. If your lights go out on Christmas Eve—which happened to us a few years ago at our big, family gathering—make the most of it and be patient as the skilled linemen work tirelessly in the snow and freezing temperatures to get your lights back on. Better yet, take them a plate of food like we did! Remember that these men and women are sacrificing time with their own families to make sure yours is comfortable and you are able to enjoy a hot meal and all those fun political arguments you’re going to have.

Bring them treats

Two years ago, I visited my friend in Germany. Some men were coming to work on my friend’s driveway so she decided she was going to bake them some scones. She and her boys kindly took them out to the workers—who were probably in shock that someone was giving them baked goods for banging around in their front yard all day (they were even more in shock when her youngest son snatched one of the scones from the plate and bolted with it, shoving it in his mouth like he was playing “Chubby Bunny” before anyone could catch him and confiscate said scone). The point is to go above and beyond the call of duty to show these folks that they are appreciated and you see them and the hard work they are doing.

Tell your kids about them

Most importantly, make sure your kiddos know all the things these tradesmen and women do for you and your family. When you drive by a crew of linemen replacing a power pole, point them out and tell your kids that these are the people that bring electricity to your house. Or, read them a book about those linemen. (Ha! Gotcha! Shameless plug for “Light Up the World.”) Don’t just teach your kids about how things work, but teach them about the people making things work. Teach them to have gratitude for the trades. Teach them to celebrate the trades.

Merry Christmas and God Bless from Tiny Tradesmen!

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