For many people, the holidays are a time to expect much, and receive little. Or the opposite; it is a time to receive a lot and get little of what they really want. Many of us get fed up with the commercialization of Christmas, and get frustrated spending money trying to find the perfect gifts for those who already have too much.
And this year is even more stressful than usual. Here in Connecticut, the tragedy in Sandy Hook means many of us are struggling with unbearable loss. Our hearts are full for the families here, and there is a heaviness in the air instead of sleighbells and carolers.
This year, make a change. Get in the real spirit of giving. Make a difference in someone's life, not just in their stocking. For everyone looking to do something to support the community here in Newtown, CT, tell your family and friends that their Christmas gift this year is a contribution in their name to the United Way of Western Connecticut. The United Way is collecting funds, right now, to help provide resources to the community throughout the coming weeks and months.
To contribute: http://www.chrismurphy.com/united-way
If giving doesn’t make you happier this time of year and you are still feeling down, then get out and volunteer. The Red Cross in your town can help you with volunteer opportunities in your area. Victims of Hurricane Sandy and even Hurricane Katrina are still in need of help, and local soup kitchens always need a hand around the holidays.
This is the season of light. Starting December 22nd, the days will get longer and we will see a shift. But the winter is only beginning. Make some decisions now about the holidays. Make your New Years resolution a new focus on generosity of spirit, and find a new gratitude for those you care about in your life.
The Christmas season may be a difficult time for many people this year. Find someone else who you think is struggling and lend a hand. You might find that the holidays become a little bit brighter, for both of you.
Tammy Nelson, PhD is a therapist in private practice and the author of The New Monogamy.