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Is That the Sound…of the Holidays?

Can you feel it in the air?

Temperatures dropping as the winds usher in the winter season ~ The faint aroma of chimney smoke as it escapes into the night air; Sweaters being retrieved from summer hibernation, with their soft and encompassing warmth; Snuggling up to the one you love with popcorn and a soft blanket for a night of movies; The wafting smell of hot cocoa as it rests between your hands, causing your senses to possess a sweet anticipation of that warm chocolate heaven rolling across your pallet; Enjoying the feeling of being completely enveloped under a billowy down comforter, which escorts one into a blissful nights’ sleep; The joy of a favorite hearty winter chili or stew, which never fails to provide a lingering warmth in one’s belly; Or the excitement of college football and anticipation of the playoffs drawing closer still…

Yes, these are but a few of the experiences we all have in one form or another, igniting in our conscious minds a reminder that the holiday season is drawing ever near.

For some, this leads to a sense of joy, excitement and anticipation – while for others, it evokes feelings of anxiety, guilt or remorse due to the memory of holidays past where active addiction/alcoholism may have caused undo pain and ruin for us or those whom we love and have held most dear. But no matter what feelings or circumstances are being experienced as the approaching holidays arrive ~ for ALL of us, a genuine gladness and gratitude can be embraced. “How?” you might ask. Well, we need only look at the immediate blessings that exist before us:

Let us start with the good news that this is a NEW season, and the years past are just that – season’s gone by. Healing and recovery, (as in life), afford us the opportunity to have a ‘do over’ or to ‘start anew’. The past holiday season could have been awful…but that was last year. THIS is a new day and can truly be the beginning of fresh and wonderful memories. We need only to go out into the cool night air, feeling the breeze against our face. To gaze our eyes upward and fixate upon the moon and vast celestial body of stars, as they cast their subtle light upon us. Breathing in through out nostrils the coolness of night and hearing the earth as it gives way beneath our feet as we take a late-night stroll. It is in this moment, where the mind becomes profoundly aware of the greatest gift, the most tremendous of blessings that will cause the heart to cry out to God – “Thank you that I am ALIVE!”

The holidays are a time that symbolize gratitude, goodwill and the promise of a future yet to come. No matter what our circumstances may be, there are many things that can be done to have the absolute BEST holiday season ever! A principle learned early on in recovery is that an unbalanced self is the root of our problems and that selflessness is where our solution and healing exist. There is a saying, “To get what we’ve never gotten, (or lost along the way) – we have only to get out of ourselves and try something new!”

Here are 7 sure fire ways, for making this the BEST holiday season EVER!

  1. Strive daily to do a random act of kindness – whether it be for a friend or a total stranger. (If you do it in secret, never telling a soul it was you…God will know)
  2. If you see someone who is hungry or thirsty, bring them food and water
  3. If you see a homeless person, smile at them – they may have felt invisible for a long time
  4. Leave a small gift for someone who serves you like a: postal worker, gas station attendant, grocery clerk, pastor or rabbi, officer or first responder or perhaps a waiter/waitress at the eatery you frequent
  5. Make a FULL gratitude list of quite literally EVERYTHING you can think of! (sunlight, water, breath, wind, nails, sight, sound, a mind that works, etc…)
  6. On Hanukah, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day – look for someone in need of having their spirits lifted and be the person that lets them know they matter! (If you are in recovery, go to a meeting and uplift a member who is struggling)
  7. If you are really having a hard time…ask God to do for you, what you can’t do for yourself by saying, “God, please help me to see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears and love with Your heart today.”

It is our most sincere and heart felt wish that this holiday season will be your ABSOLUTE best!

©2009-2020 Rebecca Balko