Before the presents are exchanged, the eggnog passed around, and the football games begin, I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (Happy holidays for you who don't celebrate) and a Happy New Year to all.
It wasn't long ago that holidays weren't that important to me. There was too much in my life that got in the way. My ego and my past always seemed to get in the way of seeing what holidays were all about. They are about spending time with your family, giving back to others that are less fortunate, and being kind to others. Now I know it's cliche, but it's the truth.
Family will always be your family. You can't get rid of them, you can't change who they are, and let's face it ignoring them won't make things any better. The best thing you can do is accept who they are and make the best of it and move on from there. Yelling, screaming, and fighting about it won't do anything except cause more problems. If there are issues to deal with, the holidays are not the time to choose to argue about them. Take the person or people aside when it's not going to cause a scene and calmly talk about the issues you might have. The holidays are meant to celebrate your love for your family and cherish the moments you will always have; especially during Christmas. I can honestly say, I can still remember Christmas Eve with my family when I was a little kid because my parents always tried to make sure it was the best possible Christmas for us.
Giving back to those less fortunate is a great way to celebrate the holidays. The greatest thing you can do is help give a Christmas to those who cannot afford it or who have lost everything; even if it's buying a toy or two and giving it to a toy drive or a church. Speaking of Church, they always have a giving tree and many people help as much as they can. I would like to send a thank you to everyone who has helped out by sending gifts to the church and would like to encourage more people to do the same. It means so much to the boys and girls who receive those gifts to have something to open up on Christmas. We take something like that for granted every year. So I would like to challenge everyone reading this to help out more in the next year.
Giving back doesn't always mean spending your money on others. You can also devote your time to helping out. There are so many places where you can donate your time to food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and churches that can use your help. So again I challenge everyone to make a difference in this next year.
Finally be nicer to others. Just because it's the holidays doesn't mean that its okay for you to snap and be crazy driving, shopping, and yelling at other people. I know I'm someone guilty of yelling at people on the road and I shouldn't. But people need to be more considerate and be less in a hurry. Those two things alone can be so helpful to yourself and everyone around you. Take a minute, breathe, and clear your head. It's hard to do at first, but after a while it helps you deal with everything easier and your blood pressure will be a lot lower.
With that being said. I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy safe New Year.