Holidays are a time when family comes together. Sometimes it is immediate family and other times it is a group of friends that have become family. However you define family, this is the time when you gather around a overflowing dinning room table, you reduce the heat in your house to compensate for the body heat of filled rooms, and young children meet new and old friends. Or at least this is what media shares about the holidays.
This year, if you are lucky you will share in a warm, joyful and loud holiday season. From my experience no family gathering is quiet. But I want to raise a point less often thought about. Many during the holidays are alone. There are women and children fleeing abusive households hoping to start the New Year in a safe and happy home. Others are mourning the loss of a loved one, someone they once gathered around a dining table with. More are uprooting their lives and crossing boarders in search for a secure life and good education. Some are searching for missing family members while many more are living on the streets and feasting at homeless shelters. Your challenge might be just as grand. Perhaps the holiday season brings about anxiety and feelings of loneliness. Or maybe you are finding the grocery centres overwhelming with people.
Whatever the barrier, the holidays are not all fun and games for everyone. So I challenge you to take a moment to think about someone you know who might be struggling, even just a little bit during this time. Send a text message, write them a card, welcome them over for tea, or invite them to celebrate the holidays with your family this year. Maybe you want to volunteer at a shelter and enjoy serving a meal to local community members or pay for the next persons coffee in line.
If you are lucky enough to to have your loved ones nearby, spread the joy just one step further. The simple act is sure to widen your grin and add a smile to someone else’s day.