Editorial<br><br>Remember and celebrate the reason for the season<br>

For some, Christmas is a happy time. Some of us get a few extra days off. We have the opportunity to spend more time with our children. We have the opportunity to create new holiday traditions. We are reminded of the reason for the season.

For some, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year. Perhaps you live far away from your family and cannot afford to return home. Perhaps you are ill or recently widowed. Whatever the reason, no one should be alone during the holidays. Don’t let yourself be alone. Pick up the phone and call home. Accept invitations that have been extended to you. Don’t wait at home alone for someone to bring your plate of food. Reach out.

Of course, most of us have that special relative that possesses the sensation of nails on a chalkboard, but we must remind ourselves to overlook any shortcomings that special person may have. Try to see the good in this person for just one day. After all, that special relative is a part of our pasts and futures.

If you are that special relative who is the recipient of strange looks or you often find yourself alone in a crowd, think about why that may be. Examine your behavior. Are you overcritical, overbearing or asking how much the house you are visiting cost? Did you make fun of another relative, the meal or possessions in the house? If you answered yes, perhaps you should alter your behavior for the day.

If you had a miserable childhood, hug yourself because you got through it. Don’t reflect on the bad things that have happened in your life, wrongdoings of others, trespassings or what should have been. Coulda, woulda, shoulda will not lift your spirits. Don’t be someone’s victim forever. Be strong and never lose your footing. Focus on what is ahead for you. You are in control of your destiny. Reflect on your accomplishments. If your accomplishments are few, work harder, faster and smarter than the person sitting next to you does.

Don’t make light of the presents given to you. Instead remember what was in the heart of the giver. Focus on the time they spent choosing your present. Try to imagine what that person was thinking when they bought that gift. If the gift is not up to your standards, never let the giver know. He or she may have had the best of intentions, but perhaps not the money to meet your standards. If you absolutely cannot tolerate your gift, please don’t return it. Instead donate it to a charity. That gift you discarded is someone else’s treasure.

Most of all, remember and celebrate the reason for the season. Hug those around you for you may never have the opportunity to celebrate with them again. Treasure every moment. There is a lot to look forward to in 2005. Happy holidays.

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