COLUMN: Finding the joy during the holiday season

For some, instead of joy and cheer there is sadness, loneliness, even depression at Christmas

COLUMN: Finding the joy during the holiday season

The holiday season is upon us and what a wonderful time of year!

The lights and decorations, the trees, the music, the goodies, are all the things we look forward to as Christmas approaches.

It’s a time for family, friends and fellowship, a time for traditions and being home.

But what about those who don’t have family, what if there are no traditions, what if being home or being with family is not an option?

For many people this is true and instead of joy and cheer there is sadness, loneliness, even depression.

About a month ago I started to feel these things, my husband and I decided we weren’t going home for Christmas.

This was new to us we have always been with family with lots of traditions and things to do. Well, not anymore, everything was going to be different, everything new.

This was when those feelings began to creep in, and I know there are those out there who can relate to this.

Those of you who are far from home, whose families have passed on or for your own reasons feel lonely…please know, you are not alone.

There are many of us out there and if we all do our part in actively participating and spreading the spirit of the season we will be less alone. In these situations, we can adapt, we can make change and find our place in it all.

How do we do this you ask; by creating new traditions, participating in our communities and inviting people into our lives. I would encourage people to take time to give to others, as well as taking time for themselves.

Join a local Christmas choir or make a beautiful wreath, a friend of mine volunteers by helping seniors hang their Christmas lights.

If you’re a writer compose a Christmas poem and hang it on your local community board to share.

There are different ways to celebrate the season, ways to feel apart and be involved; my husband’s 91 year old grandmother even sews pyjamas for all her neighbour’s grandkids.

Invite new friends over for a cup of hot cocoa or take a batch of goodies to your co-workers.

Volunteer your time and help brighten someone’s day. All it takes is a simple act to let people know they are not alone, to spread kindness or take yourself out of your box.

Whatever brings you happiness relish in it, spread it around and be a part of the exchange of joy.

For more great ways to enjoy the holidays come down to the library for our ‘Great Cookie Countdown’ and a variety of materials to peruse.

Try The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox for new and exciting tradition ideas or Hearth and Home created by Creative Publishing International.

Share your gifts and your love with others and make the most of the season.

Carly Tanasichuk is an Assistant Community Librarian at the ORL in Summerland and wishes you all peace, hope and true joy this Christmas!

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