The holidays seem to have arrived faster this year than most! Perhaps it is a sign of aging or maybe it is the retailers who are always trying to push the seasons faster (have you noticed that Christmas items have been on the shelves since September?).
I cannot wait for that turkey leg and catching up with family members. The many dinners and seasonal foods will definitely force me to stay disciplined with my exercise routines! Of course I could use the excuse that our bodies automatically add a few pounds in the winter for “insulation” (yeah, right).
Then the frenzy of Christmas shopping, the crowds (although I hear online sales are increasing every year now – smart shoppers). Traditions, whether old or new, are created and passed down to the next generation. It is especially fun with the younger kids and their innocence of life.
Presents are wrapped, stockings are hung, and the aroma of sugar cookies fill the house! We do this every year, right? The chaos and panic of finding the perfect gifts, hiding them early only to hyperventilating as we forget where we hid those gifts! Or how about the late night, hide in the garage, hope to fix it right the first time, bicycle!!! Don’t know what is worse – finding extra screws after the assembly or watching your child learn to ride their first bike while parts are slowly dropping along their path to that “right of passage” first-time crash into the bushes (or parked car).
Yet for others, the holidays mean something totally different.
It could mean a season of loneliness or heartbreak as they must live through these months with painful memories or the longing of lost loved ones. They will do their best to put on a brave smile and most will partake in the festivities as if everything is normal.
But it is not.
We can show empathy towards that person which is all we can really do. Sometimes, just being there is good enough for some people. No words, just your presence and a smile.
Be aware of the people you meet daily during this holiday season. You may not know their stories and some just need an ear or shoulder to cry one.
I have become more sensitive to these emotions given my loss even though it has been eight years now. Those lost feelings do not go away and some years are better than others. The floodgates may open one year or it could be perfectly normal the next.
Regardless, everyone has a story to tell and most will have experienced a deep loss in life.
So as we proceed into this holiday season, let us spread a bit more love to those around us because this world can definitely use more positive mindsets!! Get rid of the negative noise around you and surround yourself with positive people. Reach out to someone whom you know is hurting and put your arms around them without saying a word. Take them out for coffee or a meal and just be there for them.
More than anything, let’s be kind to one another this holiday season and remember the reason for this season.