Sharing yourself this holiday season (and I’m not talking on Facebook!)

At this time at the holidays, we are surrounded by images of connection; sharing holiday cheer with friends, family get-togethers, and experiencing the joy of finding the absolute perfect gift for a very special someone in your life.

We may feel super-blessed and completely involved and loved during this time.

Or we may be experiencing winter blues, holiday blues, and a sense of great loneliness.

Maybe your children are with your ex. Or you can’t be with the ones you love. Or distance, work, and money obligations feel like a barrier.

mom
Mom making varieties of holiday treats! (1994)

Sometimes the holidays bring in memories of missing what was.

I remember how my Mom always made Christmas special. We had a manger scene that reached from the ceiling to the floor. The smell of fresh-baked treats filled the house; baking Christmas cookies and chocolate log cakes to give to friends, doctors, and teachers.

My Mom passed away 18 years ago and she is still missed so deeply, especially at this time of year. I’m sure many of you have lost loved ones who shared in special holiday traditions.

Because my children will be with my ex-husband this Christmas I felt my heart sadden, and I was drawn in, temporarily, to the loneliness of those thoughts:

“I can’t make my home like my mom did”

“Christmas isn’t the same without my children here”

“The house will be empty”

“I miss those I love that can’t be here”

Now, while all of these statements are true, I can choose to create a new Christmas experience that gives another level of meaning and resides in the spirit of Christmas. Rather than be sad, I can put my laser-beam focus in that direction, and the reality that we are never alone. I have great faith in that statement.

Giving another level of meaning that resides in the spirit of Christmas had me thinking beautiful thoughts and ideas. Some ideas are:

  • I can invite other single moms over for a Christmas slumber party
  • I can volunteer at the local soup kitchen
  • I can provide gifts to the women’s shelter

I can do all of these things.

I also will honor the memory of those I love. At Christ Church on St. Simons Island there’s a statue in honor of my son, and on it, it says “Jesus loves me,” a quote from our favorite song and a reminder that we’re never really alone. I go to that statue often, especially at this time of year.

New traditions are started every day.

handsAnd if YOU know someone who is lonely, or who may be in a place of sadness (perhaps having lost a family member or job, etc.), please pause for a moment and think about what YOU might do to help them, to share in the spirit of the holidays. Could you:

  • Invite them over for a meal? (or even drop one off)
  • Bring them over a holiday treat, perhaps even anonymously…just so they know someone cares.
  • Send them a holiday card, perhaps share your favorite uplifting verse

I guarantee YOU will gain a benefit far greater than the recipient of your action. Giving to others is a great way to build oxytocin… giving a helping hand, an invitation, hope, a smile, financial support, forgiveness and cheer are some of my favorite ways. And you may bring a level of peace to someone who very much needs it during this holiday time.

What will you be doing this Christmas? (I’d love to hear from you!)

Sending you lots of love, and warm holiday wishes,

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