For most people, the holiday season is looked upon with anticipation and excitement. For others, it’s a reminder of what they don’t have, whether it be a relationship, family, children, money, etc. It can be a very lonely and frustrating time for some.
As a single, unmarried, no-significant other, childless woman--- (wow that sounds worse than it really is), I have spent many a holiday alone. At times it has been just another day, or so I tried to tell myself. At others, it was an adventure visiting other people’s warm and welcoming homes. A few times, I even had folks over to my home. However, there have been those years that I’ve downright dreaded to even think about the holidays approaching. I know I’m not the only one who has had these experiences.
This season I challenge us all to focus on the positives and embrace where we are in life, while also embracing one another. Let’s all do our best to focus on others during this season. If we are honest enough to admit it, our own plans and lists usually take center stage. Take a moment to look away and see what other people’s lives are like during this time and do what you can to make them more enjoyable!
Here are some quick tips to help in the process:
1. Make phone calls to those whom you may have lost contact with or haven’t spoken with in a while. Don’t send a text, or a message on social media, but actually use the phone to dial their number and hear their voice.
2. Someone recently lost a loved one that needs the presence of others around—invite them over or offer to cook for them in their home.
3. You know a person that doesn’t have anyone with whom to share the holidays. Don’t just invite them over for dinner, but welcome them into your experience by having them help in the process of whatever you are doing to prepare for the meal.
4. A recent job loss could have a friend dreading the holidays because of their financial situation—bless their bank account (this can be done anonymously as well).
5. Someone new to your city/town is unable to “go home” for the holidays. Ask them of a tradition they’ll miss and invite not only the person over to your home, but include the special tradition as well.
6. The homeless person you pass on they highway or living under the highway could use a meal, money, or clothing—offer them some of the basics you may be taking for granted.
7. Don’t forget about the elderly! Some are in their homes alone and others are in senior centers, but yet, still feel alone. Make some time to visit them!
I want to leave you with an encounter a lady at church shared with me—we’ll call her Angel. One year, Angel had some extra money around the holidays, which she says rarely happens. She felt it in her heart to bless a homeless man that she would always see around the highway. Angel went and found the man and convinced him to get into her car. He was just as unsure of Angel as she was of him but he finally got in. She took him to a hotel and was able to pay for his stay for a whole week. The lady that checked him in was shocked by her kindness. Angel later found out that the hotel manager wound up helping the homeless man as well.
I share this with you because it is a very good example of how all it takes is one spark to light a fire. Be the spark of kindness and consideration for others this holiday season!
Reach out to others. Consider other people’s circumstances. And above all, show some love!