Holidays 2010

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving evening, after enjoying a relaxing and enjoyable day with family. A traditional day to give thanks, I sit here reflecting on the blessing of a year full of writing surprises and unexpected success. Many of us reflect on our position or status in life and count our blessings. If someone had stated a year ago that I would find myself published numerous times this year, I would have asked them what they were smoking! I cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunities that have come my way this year.

As we gear up for the holiday mayhem and merriment, I’d like anyone reading this blog to think of how they can help someone in need this holiday season or throughout the coming year. The traffic is terrible and not everyone we meet is jolly and bright this time of year. Try to keep in mind that there are a lot of people in difficult situations these days. The economy has hurt much of the country, families are separated due to work and war, and every day it looks as if someone we know is newly diagnosed with a challenging disease of one kind or another. A little patience and courtesy go a long way. Add a smile when you’d rather scream and you might be surprised with a smile in return.

I don’t particularly like shopping, but I do like gathering gifts for others. And, although people are bustling about without so much as an “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry for knocking you over as I grabbed for that sale item”, I tell myself often that everyone has issues and obstacles in life. Keeping that in mind helps me stay in the holiday spirit and spread a little cheer. Some ideas to bring a smile to others this holiday season and throughout the following year:

1. Bring a platter of cookies to your local police department or fire department. These people provide valuable services each and every day. Let them know you appreciate their dedication to the community.
2. Make a commitment to donate to the food bank once a month throughout the coming year. People don’t go hungry just at the holidays. Put a note on the first Saturday of each month to bring a donation, and stick to the plan. If you can’t afford a donation, offer your time.
3. Thank our military service men and women. I don’t care how you do it, but do something to let them know you are thankful for the work they do 24/7, 365 days a year. Freedom is never free.
4. Smile and say “Hello” to the greeter at Wal-Mart.
5. Thank the people that keep your office clean. If you don’t know their name, ask, and then thank them for the job they do. You’ll be amazed at how much that comment will mean to them.
6. Offer to watch someone’s child, elderly parent, or pet so they can have a break.
7. Bring dinner to a sick friend, someone that lives alone, just went through surgery, or is bed ridden.
8. Offer to write and address Christmas cards for an elderly person in your neighborhood or for someone at the local nursing home or assisted living facility.
9. Give your hairdresser, favorite waitress, or favorite waiter a gift certificate for a foot massage or pedicure.
10. Hug your friends and family. You never know how much time you have left on this earth. Let them know how much you love them each and every day.

With that last idea in mind, take a moment to read my recent short story, A Chance Moment, published with Associated Content from Yahoo, It is a short read about love and possibilities, which may also get you in the holiday spirit. Enjoy.

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