With the final week of the year crammed with Christmas and New Year’s Eve, life in America often becomes a frenetic free-for-all as people rush around to finish last-minute shopping, gather with friends and family and consume mass quantities of food. But there’s more to the season than consuming, carousing and feasting. Here are my thoughts for the holidays — or as I like to call them, the holidaze — which just poured out of me this week.
* Remember to tell the people that you love — family members, spouses, significant others, friends — that you love them and care about them. Sometimes we forget to do this as often as we should.
* There are many friends and family members we may not often get to see, so savor the time you have with them. Sometimes the shortest moments we share with people we love can have the most profound impact on our lives.
* Reach out to people you have been thinking about but not seen or heard from in a long time. Times flies by faster the older we get, and it is easy to lose touch. Staying connected with people you have a history with always feels good, especially when you have shared so many experiences together and grown together.
* When it comes to gifts, it’s about quality not quantity. A bunch of hurriedly or random collected presents are not as effective of one or two that really show that you know the person and were thinking of them.
* Commit random acts of kindness and charity. Rudeness, cattiness and selfishness have become commonplace in modern society. Being nice to or doing something nice for someone will cause a positive chain reaction that can lead them to act the same towards others. Emotional domino effects do exist; start one.
* Think about the positive changes you want to make in your life and act upon them. We all have New Year’s Resolutions that will never fulfill. Make a list of goals, think positively and proactively, and make steps towards achieving them. Accomplishment feels good. Encourage others if they need motivation or help in making changes.
* If you have not traveled in a long time, or perhaps never been out of the country, plan a trip in the coming year. Nothing recharges your spiritual and emotional batteries and opens your eyes to new ideas than visiting some place new, especially another culture. Better yet, take along someone you love and share the experience with them.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!