We all have varied experiences when it comes to life and family.  Around the holidays these differences can be very obvious and often times painful.  I have learned that helping others can make your holiday special. I will never forget the year I asked my mom for an iPod for Christmas only to notice the discouragement and sadness in her eyes.  When I was 16 years old, and my parents went through a divorce.  We had very little money and I knew there was no way my mom could afford to get an iPod for Christmas. Ever since my parents divorced, holidays have never felt the same for me.  As a society, we always talk about the excitement of the holidays coming and the time that you get to spend with friends and family.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Today I wish to speak to those of you who are dealing with some sort of difficulty or loss in your life. The holidays can be a great time of celebration for many.  They can also be a very difficult reminder of how things have changed or what you have lost. When I was 16 years old, I lost my family in a sense.  We were a mess, our relationships in shambles.  The holidays became an incredibly painful reminder of what I no longer had.  It was devastating.  Of course, we tried to move on and make the most of our situation, but it wasn’t without tears and an array of emotions.

You are not alone

I  suddenly became aware of the number of people who were also suffering during the holidays.  I was not alone.   In an attempt to ease the pain and fill our hearts with joy, my mom and I decided to start a new tradition.  On Christmas Eve we began visiting assisted living centers and bringing Christmas stockings to those who were spending the evening alone.  We would sing Christmas carols and spend time talking with the individuals there. The thanks we received were overwhelming and the love in our hearts was overflowing. For many years my family became the recipients of an incredible amount of charity.  We would receive anonymous envelopes in our mailbox and on our front porch full of cash so my mom could get us Christmas presents.  We would have strangers reach out to pay our house payment, and the local church provided us with food.  Although these years of my life were incredibly challenging, they instilled in me a deep and sincere understanding of the power of giving.

The anonymous gift

Just a few days before Christmas when I was 16 years old and older gentleman knocked on our door and delivered an anonymous envelope. I had a sneaking suspicion of what it contained. I felt like I was on top of the world when I open the box containing a brand new iPod on Christmas morning. For those of you who are struggling during this holiday season, I first want to let you know that you’re not alone. Hang in there. My heart goes out to you! There are better days ahead. If you’re suffering in some way during the holidays, I would encourage you to find a way to give in some way to someone else.  You’ll find a few suggestions in this recent Living Healthy List article.  It doesn’t make your heartache go away, but it can bring a different kind of joy and meaning into your life. The holidays can still be a special time even though the pain is because there is someone out there who needs you. If you need someone to talk to this holiday season, please reach out for a free coaching session. My gift to you! www.mywholeandhappylife.com/contact