The holidays are a special time. We reconnect with those who are most special to us, sometimes for the first time all year. We go out of our way to think about others, especially family and close friends, instead of ourselves, picking out gifts they will enjoy, letting them know we’re thinking about them. We give more, receive gracefully, and generally practice good will to those around us.
We seem to forget all the nastiness, the road rage, the gossip, the family bickering, and the differences that we allowed to divide us from our fellow human beings during the rest of the year.
Imagine if it was ALWAYS the holidays, in our hearts? Would you be happier? Would you make others happier? Would you give more and take less? Would you make a difference?
Why wait until this time of year to create a little holiday magic?
This is a time of year when faith, hope, and meaning are emphasized in our daily lives. These things add depth to our experiences and a brightness to our activities that we miss during the other 11 months. Imagine finding new joy and new hope throughout the year by consciously making every day special.
In a world full of horrible news reported 24/7, incessant focus on what separates us from each other, and a barrage of negativity in social media and elsewhere, we can each be a small ray of sunshine and a beacon of hope – and by joining those small ray of lights together we can cast a bright light far and wide.
Stay tuned for the next part in this series: Action Steps for 2016
“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.