Special memoirs and tips for Holidays

We’re coming up to the end of another year, and boy what a year it has been! It is always my hope that in the middle of all the hoopla that surrounds us in the world today, we remember what is truly important — connecting with the people we love and remaining positive. Of course I am not implying that this is easy, especially lately with all the financial turmoil here and abroad. But what I’m saying is that through all the fears, it is important to see all the positives — the people and things that remain important in our lives.

Like being with family and friends. This is especially important with children nowadays since they are so distracted by video, audio, and electronic gadgetry, to the point where nothing seems to hold their interest outside of their high-tech toys. I just recently read an article in one of those Nature magazines that focus on endangered species. It was written by a photographer who travels all over to the greatest natural parks and wildlife preserves. He shared in the article that while flying on a plane recently, he sat next to a young obese boy who was about ten years old. On the plane, the boy immediately took to playing with his electronic toy. What struck the photographer was that even while they were flying over the Grand Canyon — one of the most spectacular sights in the world — not once did the boy want to lift his head from his game to look out the window to see this awe-inspiring natural site. The photographer went on to share that for him, the greatest memories were those when he was with his father camping, fishing, and taking walks up the mountainside — enjoying Nature to its fullest. These memories more than anything else remained the strongest in his mind. Unfortunately, boys like that are now themselves an endangered species.

Remember the scenes of our families gathering during the holidays? I bet most of us can remember those connections even more than the presents we received. For matters of the heart are always with us. They truly never leave. Those special moments of connection stay with us we pass through life, forever sealed in our memories.

An elderly woman working in Utah told a story of when she was a child during the Great Depression. She said it was one of the most fun times of her life! Friends gathered to play games constantly. They shared meals, laughed, took walks on the beach (she was from California), had sunset parties, and generally cherished every moment. That’s how these folks survived the Depression. To be sure, they took to heart that message from FDR: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” And they could always remember how special those times of sharing were while they chose to have fun despite their situational environment.

With all this as backdrop, there are some simple but meaningful things I’d like you to consider assigning yourself to do during the holidays — to give back and say thanks:

  1. Hug those you love and those who need love. Thank them for being in your life.
  2. Stop DOING and just BE at least once every day. Create and then touch the magic.
  3. Purchase candles to burn throughout the month to celebrate your loved ones in spirit.
  4. Plan and carry out random act of kindness, perhaps one that was dear to a loved one in spirit.
  5. Visit friends. Invite those who could use a meal over for dinner. Connect with as many as possible!
  6. Decorate your house in a way that reflects your beliefs. Remember, angels don’t have to just go on the top of the tree — they can go on a mantle or table with flowers or photos.

Take a moment . . . cherish it . . . respect it . . . and keep it close to your heart. The special moments will remain in your heart, and in the hearts of those you love, forever.


Tis the Season to be Jolly and Thankful

Happy Holidays and warm wishes to you, as we welcome in the 2011 holiday season! For many, this is a very difficult time. Memories that lay dormant (or at least in the back of our minds) suddenly come at us full force, consuming much of our body, mind and soul. This is especially true if you are experiencing a recent loss, or if this time of year was significant for you or your loved one in some particular way. Those memories will be triggered by listening to Christmas carols, lighting a candle on the Menorah each day, or watching the exuberant laughter of children running throughout the malls. For me personally, decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments my grandmother made, and seeing photos with friends and family that are now DP’s – especially my beloved nephew whom I was with for his last Christmas – are the moments when the memories come forth.

Speaking of children, I was reminded that on Sunday, December 11th at 7 PM during each time zone around the globe, the Compassionate Friends has its “Worldwide Candle Lighting”. The Lighting unites families and friends as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who passed over at any age, from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 PM local time, hundreds of thousands of people commemorate and honor children, creating light around the world for 24 hours. For more information, visit their website: www.compassionatefriends.org.

I continue to be honored and thankful as we all should for all those who give those extra being there moments, the welcome hugs and a good ear to listen when we need it most. It is most honestly what truly gives each of our lives what is deeply meaningful. In all honesty, isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Respect and caring for those who need the extra moment to know someone is there, even in a hurry . . . just an ear to listen so we can share all our feelings around deep losses. That, my friends, is truly what this season is about, and is the reason why I felt the importance of just being there – because knowing that you are not alone is truly a Godsend.

So if you are like me and feel so very blessed in your life, make that extra effort to call a friend over the holidays, or even invite them for tea or cocoa.  If someone has lost someone this year, it will mean even more so,  As we know this time of year brings all those losses to the foreground.  And don’t forget those that have loss their 4 legged companions as well. For many this is their family, and don’t ever think those losses are not equally devastating because they are.

It is always the little things in life that are the most precious, and you have no idea what a smile can do or helping someone across the street.  It maybe the most loving act they have receive that day.  Some where I read: Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.

Enjoy, take in those moments for it tis the season to be jolly and thankful.