THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING THE HOLIDAYS. A list to remind us of the importance of thoughts and actions germane to this special time of each year
For many of us, the best time of year is from the end of November to the end of December. Families from all around the world come together to celebrate different holidays and family traditions. Even though it's the time for giving and not as much receiving, sometimes people tend to forget all about what the holidays are.
Here are a few things worth remembering this holiday season:
- Staying humble is important. I've had the privilege and honor to have close personal relationships with some of the world's most influential, philanthropic and powerful people, from heads-of-state to major celebrities. Those who were most "established" were not (and still are not) impressed with their power or what they'd achieved. There were rather almost bashful about their standing in the world and were eager to shine the spotlight on the importance of others. It made them even MORE important to others, such as yours truly. I was grateful for them taking the time to include me in their personal lives.
- There are always people who are going to have more or less than you. As the saying (and even song title) goes, "The other man's grass is always greener." Another part of those lyrics is "Some are lucky, some are not. I'm so thankful for what I've got." In my opinion, that last line covers the subject completely, as there are times in our lives when there's no stress and other times when the stress is almost life threatening. I've been through both situations several times, but still consider myself much more blessed than not. I truly hope that's the case for YOU.
- Even if you're not happy with the gift someone got you, just remember it's the thought that counted. Indeed, some of the least expensive gifts I've ever received came from the kind hearts of those who did the giving. There were a few times in my own life when I couldn't afford to even buy Christmas cards but instead had to send cards that I'd been given me by organizations such as the DAV and American Legion. The recipients of the cards kindly acknowledged they appreciated the thought.
- Be kind to others. This should be a common sense, year ‘round mantra, but it's even more significant during the holidays. One of the oldest sayings I can remember is: “If you just give a smile, that smile will almost always be returned." There's universal warmth established for both the kindness-giver and recipient. Practicing kindness all the time would be the ultimate desired behavior for each of us.
- You never know what someone is going through. Most of us, or many, at least, don't totally share news of hardship in our lives. It's embarrassing to most and hurtful to admit life isn't always perfect. Before we admonish someone for possibly rude or less-than-kind behavior, it should be remembered we're not always aware they may be suffering on the inside while smiling on the outside. Again in my opinion, we should think twice before judging anyone, especially at this time of the year.
- If you know someone who doesn't have a family to go to during the holidays, invite them to wherever you're going. Indeed, if at all possible, again in the spirit of kindness, make someone happier at this season when they may not have a family or anyone who cares about their happiness. Sadly, there are too many people now who are experiencing loneliness and feelings of being abandoned by society.
- Take advantage of quality family time. The length of our life is never guaranteed, thus we should always tell our families how much we love them and how grateful we are to have them in our life. In that regard, taking time to make or buy a thoughtful gift can sometimes be more meaningful than buying the most expensive present. Money does not buy happiness. Putting some thought and time into a gift tends to get a much more appreciative reaction.
I hope these thoughts, all truly common sense that sometimes need reminders, will help propel you to an even happier holiday season, fast approaching!
Thank you for reading, as always.
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