Sunday, November 8, 2009

Here Come the Holidays!

Several clients have had me write up holiday pieces for them recently, so that put me into "holiday spirit" mode a lot sooner than I would otherwise be. One had me talk about holiday threats to life and limb (an emergency services website); the other asked me to edit and copy-enhance a holiday email greeting and a several-page list of ways to keep stress levels down during holiday preparations and celebrations.

Whenever I think "Christmas," I think of Currier and Ives greetings cards... caroling... sleigh rides... and of course the real reason for the season: the birth of Christ in a little town called Bethlehem just over two centuries ago.

I also think of people who have lost loved ones either this year or last, and of those who have lost a loved one on, or close to, Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's hard to muster through the holiday season without the people they used to share it with. These folks need our prayers and our ministrations. Visit them, call them, send them a card and a letter.

This is also a season that depresses a lot of people:

* Some suffer from SADS (seasonally affective disorder syndrome). There is special lighting therapy that can help those whose SADS is so pervasive that they feel hopeless, unerringly unhappy or depressed, or suicidal. It's expensive, but so is feeling lousy for four or five months every year.

* Some don't have the wherewithal to buy presents in this economy -- they've lost their jobs or work several jobs and still don't have enough extra to buy gifts for people they adore. Not long ago I wrote an eHow article on how to give gifts without spending a cent. You can visit it here:

* Some are just Scrooges for no particular reason, and only visits from the ghosts of past, present and future will blast them out of their self-imposed exiles. (In other words, don't hold your breath!)

If you know an older person or a shut in, be sure to invite them over for a holiday meal. If they decline, visit them at least once during the holiday season and take them a small gift... even if it's just your time and attention. It will mean the world to them.

Take extra time this time of year to count your blessings. You're blessed dozens of times every day. Every breath you take, every smile you receive, every step you take, every hug you share, every drive you take that ends safely, every meal you enjoy... the list goes on and on.

Take extra time to let those who bless you know that they do. I hate to break it to you, but you may never get another chance... so don't assume you will. (Yeah, I know it's a real drag to think about that, especially this time of year, but think about it once in a while and verbalize your thanksgiving for other folks. And don't reserve it for just this time of year, either.)

Because I've just launched my own business the past two years, I don't have any discretionary income this year: it all has to go somewhere other than to gift-giving. That won't always be the case but it is right now, and everybody is okay with that. That's because they know I love them. I don't remember the stuff I got last year. Do you? I just remember the love... and that is quite enough!

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