The holiday season is a time of hope, renewal, kindness, and good will. It’s a time when we see the best of people and can enjoy the rich traditions of Christianity, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and Santa Claus. It’s the season marked by great gestures, unique customs, and charming, magical memories.
How we celebrate depends on our personal and cultural heritage. However, the time and effort we spend decorating, shopping, cooking, gathering, and celebrating can prevent us from taking the time to reflect on “What are we trying to accomplish?” during this season.
I believe that if we go into this holiday season with well-defined goals, we just might prevent the all too frequent and unintended consequences of exhaustion, disappointment, emptiness, or just relief… I invite you to focus on accomplishing the following for a more fulfilling holiday season:
- Emphasize and focus on a spiritual meaning, elaborate on your personal beliefs and find the best application for your personal and family life.
- Use the occasion to re-kindle relationships which tapered off or became shallow.
- Make new friends; expand your circle of family and acquaintances.
- Find and involve isolated people in your sphere of influence.
- Mend wounded relationships; offer and/or seek forgiveness.
- Create pleasant memories for yourself and those with whom you hope to share many more years.
- Try to do all the above… J
Try to be purposeful in the way you allocate your resources. Base your decisions on what you want to accomplish, but be realistic and don’t try to please everyone or do everything.
It is easy to be manipulated into a shopping frenzy, or a decorating overkill, getting stuck in the kitchen constantly cooking or running from one party to the other. Alone, any of these can wear you out but try keeping them in perspective. Stop and think about what you’re doing and how it fits in with the importance of this wonderful, magical time, so full of rich meaning and memories.
This season feel good by helping others to feel appreciated. Be mindful of those in your circle of friends and co-workers who might be alone this time of the year. Make an attempt to include them, even if it is just a random phone call wishing them something joyful. Make this holiday season count, a season that you, and those whom you love, will cherish for many years to come! That could be the best blessing you can find!
Andrew P. Sholtes
LCDR, CHC, USN
Naval Medical Center San Diego