HOLIDAYS: A CAUSE OF CELEBRATION OR DEPRESSION?

Holidays are an inevitable part of all our lives. How we approach them determines whether they bring joy or sadness or both. Following the same path from year to year is likely to create the same outcome from an emotional perspective, so I thought I would provide some suggestions to “shake things up” to offer a way to enhance this coming holiday season.

Going-hungry-in-Ohio-and-Michigan-Soup-kitchens-find-need-outpaces-resources1. Soup kitchens offer a desperately needed service to help feed the poor and homeless. As difficult as life may be for us as individuals, having food in a refrigerator and a roof over our heads is a “luxury” many currently live without. Participating by helping to prepare meals, serving meals or simply sitting down and talking with people to let them know they matter are the kind of gifts we can all provide. I have written articles about dealing with leadership and being your own boss in the past. This is an example that incorporates these two concepts that ultimately brings joy to the person willing to step up and helps provide for others. This is an act of kindness that has the natural healing power that supersedes one’s own negative emotions, while enhancing the quality of life of another (even if it is only for a short period of time.)

primary_image2. How many children will be celebrating their holiday season in an orphanage frightened by their environment and surrounded by people they don’t really know? Have you ever thought about taking your time to visit an establishment to help a child realize they’re not alone? Children have an ability to teach us as well if we are willing to open our eyes, hearts and minds to them. Their pure honest naivety can reveal such profound truths about themselves and the lives they live, that the experience can heighten one’s own emotions to once again supersede the negativity that one may feel in life. You can bring a gift (new or used) which will be appreciated not based on value but rather based on caring. A small token such as this can have a profound impact on a child.

3. Friendship-quotes-8Make amends. It can be with family or friends, but reach out and let someone know you are thinking about them. Living in anguish and anger is self destructive. It physically harms the body. Search for the essence of what made this person a part of your life and focus on this as a basis to rekindle a relationship. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing attempt. If this conversation becomes the last conversation with this person, is it not better to end on a note saying, “take care” rather than “I will never forgive?” At best, it can be a re-birthing of a renewed relationship.

These are just three ideas to offer a different approach to the coming holiday season. Be creative and decide for yourself what you can do to enhance the lives of others, for in doing so, you will create your own opportunity to find a healthier and happier place within your own soul.

I believe these suggestions may offer better options than thinking to oneself, “what will it take to get through this holiday season?”

It is now my turn to ask you for a “donation.” It is in terms of an idea and action you are willing to undertake to help improve the life of another person. In the comment section of this post, I would appreciate you “donating” an idea and action you are willing to do this holiday season. Let’s see how many people we can get to participate to make a difference in all our lives. Wishing all of you (y’all for my southern compadres) a healthy and happy holiday season!

Had to end this post by putting a smile on everyone's face!
      Had to end this post by putting a smile on everyone’s face!

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31 comments

  1. Great ideas, and there are three of them. Yay!!! I would love to help with a holiday dinner for the community, I have never done so. I’ll have to check around and see what we have going in our area. Sounds incredibly rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait until you see how good you feel and how much joy you bring to the lives of others. You will truly feel blessed and amazed!

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  2. I cannot deal with holidays and can’t promise to help. It is hard enough keeping my own sanity and tears from flowing. I want it just over with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How about giving a one-off or monthly donation to a charity of your choice like http://www.compassion.com ? I hope that whatever you are going through you have good people around you to help you overcome.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not having money is just one of the problems. So we don’t exchange gifts. I even had to stop the grandkids gifts. Nice idea though. I am an isolator, I would rather not have a large group of family or anyone else around much if I can help it. Luckily it is just a small amount of the family that gets together.

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        1. Ok, well I do hope you still manage to get through this with a smile. I appreciate how difficult it is to go through LIFE on a tight budget, let alone the holidays! God bless you

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post and ideas about stepping out helping those in need Jonathan. We have our first children’s hospice opening up here in April next year, where I will work part-time as a Counselor and Therapist. There are 3,700 parents with terminally ill children, waiting to get into this hospital and there is one child a week who is dying at home or in a hospital. Gabrielle who created Hummingbird House is always inviting us to donate our time throughout the holiday season, where we can support these beautiful parents and children. You are so right, it has been a gift to me helping others, and it always gives me a greater perspective in life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a marvelous opportunity to help those in times of great need. I have been fortunate to meet some of the nicest most caring people working in hospice facilities. In takes special fortitude and character to work in hospice and makes an end of life experience so much more peaceful. Based on your written work, I can see you offering much needed compassion to those families in distress. Thank you so much for sharing your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. great ideas…another good post…thanks…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In the past I have spent several holiday seasons volunteering and I know I shouldn’t say it, I got a good buzz and a sense of achievement from doing it. I suppose this was because I never got to see my own son at Christmas so there was little point to it in my mind. Nowadays, I am lucky enough to be invited to my brothers most Christmas’s and spend time with the children. These are the ones that make it all worth while, however, after reading this post I wonder if I might go back and try to volunteer again this christmas.
    I shall investigate.
    Happy holidays!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The good news is you can do BOTH if you want to. Volunteering doesn’t have to be on the holiday. Some of the examples I listed can be done ANY TIME. I was glad to read you have helped in the past. I hope your heart cries out for a repeat performance.
      Stay healthy and happy.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Great article. I worked at a psychiatric hospital and our census would sky rocket.

    Marcey

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    1. Hi Marcy. Thank you for reading the article. I hope it helps stimulate more people to consider adding this to their repertoire of activities during AND BETWEEN holidays. This is a wonderfully productive method to fill a void in one’s own life.

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  7. One quick and easy way to brighten someone’s day is to pay for their coffee. I will often do this for the person behind me in the drive through, especially if they have let me into the line. One of our neighbours bakes cookies for everyone on our street (there are only a few houses) and I think that is a really nice gesture. Of course, there are food drives at most groceries stores and “wish” stations in most department stores where you can donate a toy to a child.

    Helping others is, of course, important to consider but I think it’s equally important to mention that people need to take care of themselves during the holiday season. For example, if you say “yes” to every invitation, you can easily wear yourself out and the holidays will seem like a drag rather than an enjoyable time of year. I think people should only do the things that they want to do and be kind to themselves – no guilt required.

    Since my dad died, I hate the holidays. It was his favourite time of the year and we always had so much fun together. There is a huge gap without him here. This year, we decided to skip the materialism, not buy each other any gifts, and just focus on time together as a family. It was awful going through the motions last year, our first year without him, and none of us are interested in opening presents. For me, the holidays have never been about “stuff” and it’s such a relief not to have to brave the crowds and prove how much I love my family by buying them “stuff!”

    See, doing what you want makes a difference 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You bring up several important and good points. It is difficult to help others if emotionally one is clearly “out of balance.” Focusing on oneself is an important first step, but it doesn’t have to be independent of helping others. The act of giving without recognition or favorable return rewards an individual’s character and soul from within. This character growth is part of the process of healing.

      I also strongly believe in the round world theory. Giving begets. I’m not suggesting we do so in order to receive, but rather to mutually benefit (giver and receiver) as an end result rather than a goal. Receiving is NOT a need exclusive to the poor. There are plenty of lost wealthy souls abandoned because it appears they “have it all.” Steve Jobs denied his daughter’s existence for most of her childhood and adolescent years. His billions could not buy away the tormented life he lived. It also destroyed his health (in my opinion) resulting in an early death.
      Health and happiness is found and nurtured from within. The more we are able to do to help others (without compromising the values and beliefs in our own lives) the more we become able to do for ourselves. The loss of your father was a traumatic event; emotionally devastating. I promise you one day you will view a joyful and playful relationship you witness as a child walks hand in hand with her father or rough houses it in a park with uncontrollable giggling heard from the mouth of this child and you will look up and smile. It will no longer bring the pain you currently feel; it will bring happy memories and an understanding that our joys exist to be passed on to others. If that were not the case, the world wouldn’t be round.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful and timely post right before the holidays. Families gathering for feasts and exchange of gifts, while others, less fortunate are just trying to survive. Thank you for reminding me I have so much to be grateful for. Good day my friend.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. All of us need a reminder every now and then as “things” in life create undo stress and place life out of balance. Reeling our own emotional and physical actions back in requires a little effort. Hopefully this post helps people reorganize their priorities and creates a few more acts of kindness in the process. Everyone benefits from this outcome.
      Stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great response. Sometimes we confuse our wants and other people’s needs. Great post. Best wishes to you and yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The same to you and your family. You are a welcomed and talented addition to the our blogging community.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you so much. Take care.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful!! I will be re-sharing this article for Pay It Forward Friday because you offered some wonderful ways we can give to others as the holidays approach.
    Something my hubby and I plan to do is bake cookies for our neighbors and put together a CD of pictures we have of their recently deceased doggie for them to cherish and remember forever:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for passing along the message. Sometimes people just need reminding to go the extra mile. Your gesture toward your neighbors will be greatly appreciated. Both, you and your husband have kind hearts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you:) Same goes for you:)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. […] HOLIDAYS: A CAUSE OF CELEBRATION OR DEPRESSION? […]

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    1. I hope all your readers find this information beneficial. Thank you again for re-posting

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  11. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    We have been donating to the Christmas Angel program for years and hope to continue. One year we purchased a new bike for a little girl and we have given new winter coats on other years. It’s a great program and I encourage people to join and make a child’s Christmas wish come true!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The nice part about contributing is that it can range from tangible gifts to emotional support. The CONCEPT OF GIVING is the greatest gift we can provide to one another. It notoriously comes back to the original giver in greater amounts than ever realized. I hope your comment helps motivate others to consider participating in the process.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. We usually do Toys for Tots, and this year we have our own tot. I was thinking it would be good if we taught her, each year, to pick out a present that she could give or donate to someone else. We could wrap it and put it under the tree so she could see how someone else would feel to see their gift under a different tree, and then, when the time was right, we could take it as a family to donate it. We don’t have much to give–at least financially–but I’d love to raise my daughter into a tradition of giving to those whose have even less than we do.

    http://www.toysfortots.org/default.aspx

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    1. What a marvelous idea. I have found some of the biggest hearts in people with little in the way of discretionary spending. Teaching our children the CONCEPT OF GIVING is a gift I wish more parents gave to their children. Our children can become amazing adults with our guidance and support. Your little girl sounds like she has the parental foundation to grow up and become one of these children. You should be very proud of your personal efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. […] HOLIDAYS: A CAUSE OF CELEBRATION OR DEPRESSION? […]

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