Love: Your Reason for the Season!

Hands making heart shape on winter day in red glovesIt’s really not the gifts, the eggnog, the cookies, the tinsel and lights, or any of the other things we associate with the holiday season that’s truly important. It’s about the love that we share with friends, with our family, with our spiritual or religious community, and with other less fortunate people who may be struggling personally and financially during this time of the year.

The holiday season can bring out the best and the worst in all of us. You can become so caught up in the expectations surrounding the season: buying gifts you can’t afford, sending out holiday cards because you’ve been doing it for years, overindulging in food, alcohol, cookies, candies, and any of the other sweets you simply can’t pass up, and becoming so overwhelmed with the enormity of it all that you become irritable and short-tempered.

When I was growing up, I loved Christmas. It was pretty much the only time of year, other than my birthday, that I received gifts. And I was very thankful for them. I also felt joy in the gifts I gave to others.  It was simply a splendid time of the year when you were surrounded by great friends and family.

Later in life, when I had my own family, I wanted to give them the same type of experience. Unfortunately, they, like so many other children today, have so much that the more they got, the less they appreciated it. I would put an incredible amount of effort into creating this amazing holiday experience and would feel frustrated that the result was not what I had hoped for or expected. I came to dread this time of year because it added so many more responsibilities to my already full plate, and I was tired and completely overwhelmed with the experience. I had lost the true reason for the season.

As you’re preparing for the holidays, think about how you can eliminate some of the stress and focus on what’s truly important. Remember, it’s not the goodies, the gifts, or the glitter that adds sparkle to the season. It’s the fellowship with one another, the sharing of common experiences, and the love offerings you make that make the holidays bright. It doesn’t matter whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Christmas, or just Santa’s arrival, the true reason for the season should be to spread your love to the people around you, and to let them know how much you care about them – not just during the holiday season, but throughout the coming year as well.

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