Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's not always jolly holidays - By Michelle Libby

The holidays are here. The lights are mostly lit and people are scurrying around to pick up gifts, see the holiday shows and keep up with all the routine activities our families do normally. There are some people who don’t get involved in the holiday hub-bub. Those who have lost a loved one recently, or around the holidays or years ago, but every holiday there is a hole where that person should be. 

Songs like “I’ll be home for Christmas” make them tear up and the cheer makes them blue. There are places to turn this holiday season to connect with others who are in similar situations or just to talk and be with people. 

Local churches usually have a “Blue Christmas” service, where people who need comfort during the holidays can turn. Various groups have support meetings or drop in sites. 

For those who are alone this season because their children live out of state or they are having a particularly hard time, try to make a connection with them. Bake something, buy a treat for them or take some time to visit. 

I have known many people, especially recently who have lost loved ones, parents and children. These people need to know that the community cares about them, that individuals care about them. 

I am not a counselor. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I know what a kind word, some extra love can do for someone who is having a hard time. Reach out to them and do something nice. 

My final suggestion is to provide opportunities for the person, family or children to get out of the house. Invite them to go for a walk, for dinner or to a class of some sort. They may say “no”, but eventually they might say “yes”. Don’t give up just because you get shot down once. 

Holidays should be happy times, so spread some cheer and love to those who need it in a kind and thoughtful way.


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