The holidays (from Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and New Year’s) are undoubtedly some of the most joyous times of the year. The excitement of spending quality time with loved ones, coupled with giving and receiving gifts, are priceless memories of a lifetime. Yet, it is the opposite for many people. While some eagerly await this time of the year, others dread its arrival because it is a loud reminder of their loneliness. The holidays for someone who has no family and friends to celebrate with are torturous, as it makes them face their predicament head on, with no way to avoid it. They are reminded of it everywhere they go, with holiday decorations in the streets and at every store, as well as Christmas shows/movies on almost every channel. As a result, they cannot wait for the season to be behind them.
If you are fortunate enough to have family and friends with whom you celebrate, don’t take it for granted. If you have lost some loved ones along the way, hold the ones you still have in your life a little tighter. Be grateful for them and cherish their presence more than the gifts you will interchange.
Tis the season to share the joy and blessings with those who are alone and those who can’t afford to engage in gift exchanges and lavish meals. Tis the season to reach out to the less fortunate (such as the homeless, impoverished families, and senior citizens) through a genuine conversation, a small gift (i.e. a cup of coffee and/or a meal), or simply a smile. “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do” (Mother Teresa). Tis the season to share the love of The One who was born on this season to save us all.
Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanza! Happy Hanukkah!
Louise Beaubrun-Macaluso, PhD