As the holiday season approaches, we see the usual social media messages of “Don’t forget the reason for the Season” alongside the “Stop asking me if I am ready for Christmas, I’m barely ready for today, Susan.” It’s that complicated time of the year where everyone is stuck between the need to run around endlessly to shop, shop, shop and the need to sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and reflect…or read a good book.

Personally, I’m having a hard time getting into the spirit of things. Maybe I’m jaded but the holiday season just doesn’t hold a lot of magic for me anymore. My children are adults (well the last one is just months away) and a lot of my loved ones are spending their time in Heaven. I’d like to change my mindset so I can happily celebrate the absolute wonderment of the birth of who I believe is my lord and savior. It’s a personal challenge I’m putting on myself to remain in the present, do a lot of praying and appreciate those who are still with me here and you know, just go out of my way to be nice. Make people smile. Give a kind word. Reach out to those who need it most.

It seems in our society that the holidays, for many, has basically morphed into moving through the motions of getting through the holiday season unscathed with no additional debt or weight gain. We all have our own cause for celebration during this time, no matter our religion or beliefs. I’m a fan of live and let live. Do your own thing. I know of atheists who celebrate Christmas just for the sake of exchanging gifts and putting up pretty lights and a tree.

But the one thing that brings us all together should be a love for humanity. Be forgiving. We ALL make mistakes. Learn from them. Don’t spread hate. Be a good human. Don’t take your anger out on strangers. Whatever happened to “unless you have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut?” Of course there are exceptions. Sometimes you need to complain to get things done, but do it in a nice productive way.

Whatever you do this holiday season, make fun, happy memories. From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

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