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The Small Gift of Connection

Disregard all the holiday advertisements and remember the true meaning of the holidays: family, friends, love and connection. Reminiscent of what Clarence told George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life: “No man is a failure who has friends.” Even with all of the work that has to be done before the holidays, stay optimistic and don’t become a scrooge. Here are a few ways to truly connect and be genuine with loved ones during the holidays:

Be grateful—Happy people are generally grateful. If you remind yourself how blessed you are, the holiday blues won’t get to you. It could be simple like, “I’m grateful to have cable TV.” Or, it could be, “I’m grateful to have food on the table.” Remind yourself of the little things during the holidays.

Be present at holiday get-togethers—Engage in holiday activities with your family. Even though it may be a lot of time together, you’re maintaining lifelong connections. Don’t hole yourself up in your room—be an active participant. Turn on the Christmas music, bake cookies with family and share funny stories from the past.

Stay positive—With the whole family coming together for the holidays, there’s bound to be a disagreement or gossip. Stay upbeat about the unique differences in everyone and remind your family members to accept each other. Instead of being quick to pick a fight, spread “warm fuzzies” around the family by giving compliments.

Volunteer or donate to a charity—Giving your time and effort to a local organization is a great way to genuinely connect with your community. Get in touch with an organization you feel passionate about and help them out during this holiday season.