It’s easy to get caught up with the consumerism of Christmas and the stress that comes along with it. Whether it’s looking for a parking space while last minute shopping, or having your car break down and realizing you have another BIG expense that wasn’t planned in your Christmas budget.
What I found is that we can find the true meaning of Christmas right in front of us if we just look for it. Buying our Christmas tree was so joyful as we listened to Tony’s story of how he and his parents bought their farm and how he raised his kids in that same home. He sells native Christmas trees on his property and has beautiful reindeer that he enjoys showing all the children.
It puts a smile on my face to see an elderly gentleman talking and laughing with an employee at the local hardware store. He may have come in to buy a gadget for his dishwasher, or he may have stopped in just to visit an old friend and wish him happy holidays.
It’s about making connections with people. Feeling a sense of belonging and connecting with friends and family.
A sense of belonging is a powerful predictor of depressive symptoms. Studies from the 1960’s to the 1990’s have demonstrated an association between lack of social relationships and poor health outcomes.
This holiday season make sure you find time in your busy day to talk to a friend, to make those connections and to share your stories. Take time to look beyond the lists of things you need to do. The magic of the season is out there if we just look close enough. It is the time of giving, loving and remembering the true spirit of the season.