December is a wonderful time of year. For many it brings fond memories of falling snow and hot cocoa. It’s that time of year when friends and families gather to decorate the house, buy Christmas trees, and decorate cookies. The holiday season is such an exciting time. It is no wonder they call the holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year.”
With all of the wonder and magic that Christmas brings it can be difficult for many. These hard things make us feel shallow and empty. Perhaps the loss of a family member, the loss of a job, loneliness, or another one of the countless ways our world is not the way it should be. Perhaps you're feeling overwhelmed picking up last minute gifts, preparing the home for visitors, or planning holiday meals. The holidays can be extra stressful.
What is the reason for the season? What is the spirit of the holidays? The spirit at the center of every home is giving. Christmas is defined in the joy of giving to others. The true nature of giving comes from the heart and loving our fellow men unconditionally. Take time to pause from a busy schedule to remember to focus on making memories and spending valuable time with friends and family.
Remember the downtrodden and suffering. Invite them into your homes and lives, and to share with them the closeness of love and friendship. This could be a work colleague, neighbour, relative, or friend. This could be the most significant gesture of the holiday spirit you can bring into someone's life this year.
In stressful moments, it is more important than ever to remember the reason for the season. Remembering this reason can bring a deep, abiding joy. A joy that doesn’t ignore the pain of life but doesn’t buckle underneath its weight either. It acknowledges life's difficulties but continues to trust and hope for a bright future. Life has its twists and turns, but we can always hope and trust that our future holds positive opportunities.