Once again it’s that time of year when we need to maintain the thankfulness and graciousness of Thanksgiving and carry it forth through the rest of the holiday season. What is the reason we celebrate this season? Is it about the gifts under the tree adorned with lights and ornaments? Is it about sending out cards, enjoying a big turkey/ham dinner, or sleigh rides in the snow? I believe the true reason we celebrate is love.
Many people, however, feel sorrow during the holiday season. Maybe, they don’t have extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Maybe, they are saddened because their loved ones will not be able to come home to celebrate. Whatever the reason we can be a beacon of hope and light for an individual who may be struggling with sadness during this seasonal celebration.
Here are some good ways to include and engage someone struggling with sorrow during the holiday season.
· Be thoughtful with your invitations. Someone struggling may feel uncomfortable about being around a crowd of people. If your invitation is declined to attend a party, invite them out for a coffee or another one-on-one event instead.
· Remember that people are more than their issues/illnesses. Acknowledge the issues and/ or illness but be sure to ask about their work, sports, pets or other topics they’re interested in as well.
· Reach out regularly. We know that having a supportive network of friends and family members is very helpful. Consistent support is important. So, call and check in on a regular basis.
· Allow them to choose. Don’t pressure them if they decide to opt out of holiday gatherings or choose to leave an event early. Your understanding will be greatly appreciated.
The holiday season can be a time of great joy. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength.
Share love and enjoy the season!