For many of you it may be a warm winter filled with breezy, sunny days! Others may be fighting blizzards and the flu! Some people will be surrounded by family members and loved ones and some will be spending the holidays alone. I've gotten a few e-mails asking me to post about how to have a happy holiday when your situation may not be so cheerful.
First of all in order to be completely happy with anything you have to completely happy with yourself!! Just as with any relationship, you have to know who you are and what you want out of life in order to truly open yourself up to someone else and allow yourself to be vunerable. So take some time out for yourself, and reflect on the past year. Think about the mistakes you've made, the good choices, and all the happy and bad times you've had this year. And consider everything you have gathered from each situation.
Second, DO NOT compare yourself to your friends and family. You may be spending Christmas with family and without a loved one or that special someone to cozy up with next to the fire sipping hot cocoa and roasting marshmallows. Well guess what? NOT EVERYONE WILL BE. Some people do not even have homes to celebrate the holidays in. Some people cannot buy gifts for their children and some may not even have an adequate Christmas meal. Be happy with what you have, and remember there is always someone else who has it worse than you. Instead of dwelling on the negative, embrace the positive aspects of your life.
Third, GIVE GIVE GIVE. Too many people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. Whether or not you are religous, you should always remember that the holidays is time for giving thanks and GIVING in general. I give all year 'round; and I must say it feels good. I dedicate the majority of my time and energy to helping others and doing whatever I can to ensure someone less fortunate than I can be happy even if only for a moment. It is the greatest feeling in the world to see the smile on someone's face after you have done something for them that can possibly change their life forever; especially a child. The problem is, NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO GIVE. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Gather your entire family and ask that each member donates $2, 1 toy, or one article of warm clothing to a local charity. (A family of 10 = $20. 10 toys, and 10 coats) That can make a major difference in the lives of 10 people.
2. Feed the hungry on Christmas morning. Opt to wake up a little earlier to open gifts so that you may visit a shelter, serve food, and sing carols.
3. Donate all of your child's old toys to a local shelter or child centered agency. You know your kids stopped playing with last year's Christmas gifts in March!! They are just taking up space anyway. And once you have new kids, there will be new versions of the latest and greatest toys.
4. Make GIVING a year 'round effort. Do not wait until the holidays to get into the giving spirit. Homeless families do not wait until the holidays to lose their homes and sick children do not wait until Thanksgiving to get a disease! This is a sure-fire way to boost your spirits and feel good about yourself, and possibly forget about whatever ailes you!
Ayla V. Expose