By Andy Kriege, YSN

“The past is behind us, learn from it
The future is ahead of us, prepare for it.
The present is here — live it!
–Thomas S. Monson

In the spirit of the season, YourSourceNews reached out to members, vendors and affiliated dealers to learn what the holidays mean to them in this most extraordinary year. We will be sharing their thoughts over the next week in three installments.

While their answers were varied, a recurring theme is one of greater reflection this year, and that despite the difficulties they may have experienced, they indeed feel truly blessed.

Paula with her out-of-town California kids

“Wow, what a year! I never realized how much I have taken for granted until this year. On the professional side, not being able to see the BrandSource members and team and greet you all with a handshake or hug, has really been hard this year. On the personal side, my family, especially my adult kids, live all over the country. The holidays will be very quiet this year, but I will take this time to be so very grateful for all my families — Tempur Sealy International, BrandSource and my immediate family. See you all in 2021!” — Paula Higginbotham, Senior Key Account Manager, Tempur Sealy

Laura Dake, in this year’s version of her Christmas party dress, preparing to bake holiday treats

“Normally my holidays are a whirlwind of plays, ballets, parties and family gatherings. The one thing I never seem to have time for is baking Christmas cookies. This year my apron is my party dress, and I’ll be making cheer with a cloud of cinnamon and a crunch of peppermint. I’m looking forward to baking memories with my sister and having a cozy Christmas in.” Laura Dake, Senior Product Manager/LINQ, AVB Marketing

Brenda Lewis and Jayme Crean of GreenTech headed for a trade show with a packed Prius and Simba the Cat, who was rescued from a feral feline sanctuary

“I love Christmas so much is because it is a time when I am constantly reminded that love, hope, provision and protection is alive and well. My faith reminds me that Jesus is the reason for the season and because of Him, I can lay the cares of my life and the lives of my loved ones down at His feet and rest. This year like none other, I am so thankful and am drawing on this truth like never before.” Brenda Lewis, Manager of Customer Development/Independent Retail, GreenTech

Nick Faiola, ePass Enterprise Software

“I clearly remember being in the airport on March 15, getting a call that our trade show was cancelled and to return home due to the pandemic. I remember thinking, ‘What do we do? Are we safe, are our families safe?’ Fast forward three quarters of a year later, and we have all adjusted to being home a lot more and have started using video chat to stay in touch with loved ones instead of getting together on weekends. Sadly, our children have not been able to go to school, play sports or graduate. The one bonus has been that we are just now learning what our children actually do all day!

“One day we will all look back at this year and be thankful for everyone around us. Cherish family and friends because in the end, that is all that really matters.” — Nick Faiola, President, ePass Enterprise Software

Like our friends Paula, Laura, Brenda and Nick, we invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on what this season is really all about. Slow down, catch your breath and just live in the moment, and enjoy what is right in front of you.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, home furnishings and CE dealers.