THE CARAVAN Volume 9, Issue 12, December 2010
WELL, IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN
Yes, it's that time of year when we are all getting ready to spend time with our families and friends celebrating our respective holiday festivals such as Christmas, Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. It is a time that is supposed to be happy, a time when we give and receive gifts, and a time to enjoy family and friends' company. This is also a time to reflect on those who won't or can't be with us this year.
So, here is my holiday wish list for all of you.
No matter what kind of drama everyone else is throwing your way, don't get caught up in it. Don't make this time of year about drama. Make this time of year about celebrating your oneness with all those in your sphere of influence.
Instead of overspending at the shopping malls, give a portion of what you would spend to the needy in your community. In my research, all of the festivals I mentioned earlier are all about giving not getting. Keep that in mind when you are about to go overboard.
Take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished over this last year. I don't mean how much money you made, or what you bought or how many first places you were in. I mean how many souls have you touched? How many times did you give without wanting to get? How many times did you hold a door open for others? When was the last time you called on someone you hadn't talked to in quite awhile? How many times did you volunteer this year? How many donations did you make to those in need?
Did you smile more than you frowned? Were you happier than sad? How many conflicts were you in and how many of them could you have avoided?
Now count all of the wonderful blessings that you do have in your life. Look at the people around you and celebrate them. Think about the people you lost and celebrate their memory.
For the rest of this year and all of next year, be better at being human by eliminating conflict and stress in your journey and by not contributing to conflict or stress in the journey of others. Let's take the concept of these festivals and keep them within us and not just for one month of the year.
May you all have peace, love and happiness today and in the future!
MOM'S TWO CENTS
By Jordin Williamson
WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS TO YOU?
I recently heard somebody state that if they didn't receive a gift from a family member at Christmas then that family member obviously didn't love them. I have to say that it shocked me and disappointed me to hear something so selfish.
That person has obviously lost the true meaning of Christmas. Everyone's meaning of Christmas is different but I would have thought that the people I surround myself with would not be so blinded to the true wonders of the holidays. Since I am not a religious person my meaning of Christmas could be different than the traditional one.
I believe that Christmas should be a time for giving to those less fortunate, spending time with family and friends, eating lots of good food and reflecting on the past year. Christmas is also for children. They are at a magical time in life when they are carefree and full of imagination. Our job as parents is to keep them innocent and full of wonder and to let them be kids. If you choose to buy gifts for people in your life it should be because you want to, not because you feel obligated, pressured or guilted into.
Having loving friends and family to share your life with should be the true meaning of the holiday season, not how many gifts you give or receive. No matter how much money you have or don't have and no matter how big your home is or isn't and no matter how big your family is or isn't, you should just be thankful for life, love and happiness.
I will choose to raise my children to be loving, giving and respectful people that want to give to others and never expect anything in return. If you are a loving and giving person, you attract loving and giving people into your life. Surround yourself with them and don't let the others bring you down.
May the true meaning of the holiday season find you and keep you warm all through the year. Happy holidays to you and your family.
Quote of the Month
By Brodi Mouradian
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
- Melody Beattie
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