Happy Holidays!

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

This has certainly been a crazy year! With so much going on in the news and the world, it can sometimes feel like the sky is falling. In the midst of the chaos of not only the trials and tribulations but also the successes and achievements that we experience each day, we can all too easily lose sight of what really matters.

During the holidays this year, it is important to realize that regardless of the size of the whirlwind of news, media, and responsibilities that seems to accost us on every side, nothing can be more important than family and valued relationships.

Those who are near to us emotionally, despite barriers of distance and time, are the ones who bring meaning to the rest of our life’s activities. They support us when we chase our dreams, they help us when we fall, and they inspire us to reach for higher goals. Sometimes we might neglect to let them know how precious they really are, but we don’t have to wait another moment!

Though our family and friends are important to us throughout the year, the holidays are a great chance to reconnect, reevaluate, and renew. Seek to mend those relationships might be strained, and deepen and develop the friendships that are already strong. Send a special card to someone with whom we’ve lost touch (or better, yet, pick up the phone and call!) Drop by to see an elderly friend or relative with holiday cookies and love. Share a little cheer with a stranger by smiling as we wait in line. Reach out to our community by donating our time or resources to a local shelter or soup kitchen.

In showering those around us with love, forgiveness, grace, and gratitude, we will not only enrich their lives, but will be rewarded ourselves. This is one of the true meanings of this season; let us embrace it today and take it with us into the New Year.

2013