Planning for holiday parties and, or family gatherings can be a time-consuming task, and while it requires patience and a little tenacity by the one who takes it on, we all need to be reminded that holidays aren’t the same for everyone. There’s an ample amount of suffering throughout each of our lives and in this world… illnesses, death, poverty and loneliness. Holidays can be an extremely sad period for some people, so bringing out the best possible version of ‘you’ through this season…might just shine a light onto somebody less fortunate; if even for a moment.

Beginning with Thanksgiving…this holiday brings everyone to the table and offers us a time in which we reflect upon and show our gratitude for all we have. It’s a feast of food with all the trimmings, shared among those we love and care for deeply. It’s a time to put aside differences and let go of whatever ails you…so you may experience that heartfelt warmth among friends, family and strangers. Show kindness towards all races and genders; they all have hearts too. As we count down the days to Thanksgiving and then on to Christmas, remember to always be your best.

So as most of us know, the holidays come with a bit of anxiety and stress. People worry about money, it’s that simple. Whether it’s food for the gathering, or shopping for (Christmas) gifts, it all comes down to money…and that stresses everyone I know. Try to handle it this year by being at your best every day; because there’s nothing better than having hope, love, and peace, everything else is monetary, it truly is. Share yourself…through stories, or an act of kindness, volunteer at a shelter or donate home baked goods; do something pleasing or out of the ordinary. By being your best, you will experience the ability to be, selfless, giving, compassionate, empathetic and happy!  Always put on a smile, through the good times and the hard times…don’t let someone else’s bad day ruin yours. Be extra kind through this holiday season, and you may see how an ordinary day can become an ‘extraordinary’ day…it’s uplifting and invigorating.

Everyone needs love, everyone wants to feel important to someone and wants a life worth living. Give the distractions (cell phones, television, etc.) a break, while choosing to give someone your undivided attention. Don’t let shopping be a topic at the dinner table; it’s an intrusion of consumerism. For those of you sharing Thanksgiving with elders, be mindful and remember…you never know if it’s a last gathering for all, many things can happen; include them in conversations and show some interest in their life. Younger people tend to forget that the older ones were once vibrant too and isn’t easy when aging takes hold of their physical and, or mental well-being; it’s hard to face at times but is a part of life. Be your best self ever…warm and inviting, be happy and grateful, for everything. May this holiday season bring you joy and countless blessings. I am truly grateful for my family and friends; my cup runneth over!

Make your week count.