What is the Real Meaning of the Holidays?

When you think of the holiday season, what comes to mind?

I love this time of year. Mugs filled with steaming hot peppermint cocoa with mini marshmallows, and favorite holiday movies, such as classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street.

But not everyone has the luxury to experience some of the things we might enjoy during the holidays. That is why it is important to spread joy and be mindful of those around us who might need a random act of kindness especially during this time of year.

The Rescue Mission of Syracuse shares their mission is no one should have to be hungry or homeless. It can happen for so many reasons and once there, it can be a difficult road back. Yet every day, someone in our community is hungry or homeless.

How often, we lose site of the simple pleasures of life – food, clean water and a roof over our head. Instead, we fret and worry about our to do lists, the host or hostess tasks for the holidays or the mounds of stuff on own to buy for our children or those on our list.

I am not suggesting that the holidays be a stripped-down version of simplicity. But a chance to pause, notice those around us and give gratitude for the blessings in our life.

After all, as Americans, we live in a free country, and have access to services that others don’t have such as clean water, food, education and the ability to pave the way forward to help another.

Three ways to express thankfulness:

  • Do a random act of kindness for another. Maybe it’s a neighbor, someone at your church, a friend. Just be kind to another. Recently a friend – sent me a text message with a bouquet of flowers and a positive beautiful quote, it set the tone for my day and just the simple gesture made me smile because it was so unexpected.
  • Share the holiday meal with another. This year my sister is hosting exchange students. It will be a great experience for all of us to learn about a different culture and the share the gift of hospitality. You would be surprised how many college students that are international students don’t go home for the holidays—open your home and invite in others.
  • Gratitude- sets the tone for receiving and giving gratitude. Great piece on why giving gratitude can change your life. And it is nice to hand write a card on why you are grateful for the gift of a friendship and share it with a friend. Leave it in their mailbox or mail a card to share what the friendship means to you.
  • Food banks are always in need of food this time of year, check with your local food pantry or church. I find that many times, we can buy one of something and receive the second one for free (I just did this at Tops and gave the free one to the food bank). Take advantage of the multiple buy specials at the supermarket on canned goods and donate part of your purchase.

For moms – a Cool Blog Post on Holiday Kindness Calendar for Kids


Laura Ponticello is an Amazon bestselling author of Live the Life of Your Dreams: 33 Tips for Inspired Living, inspired by life stories of people across the globe. Her current book is The Art of Self Transformation, A Guide to Awakening. Connect with Laura!

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