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People you love.
You know almost anything is made better when you are among people you love. Some of these folks are your family...some are your friends...some might even be perfect strangers who share a passion with you. Whoever these people are to you, enjoy them--and know that you are all there together for a reason.
Um, carbs are my love language, people. I've never met a pasta I didn't like. To be clear, I'm not saying you need a ribeye, fois gras, and caviar for your celebratory meal, so don't mistake my meaning. Good food doesn't just feed your body, it feeds your soul. If there is great joy for you in making your grandmother's famous fried bologna sandwich, then by all means, pull out the skillet. Food evokes memories in me, as it does for many people. I truly believe this is why so many families have set menus for special holiday meals. My family makes the absolute strongest garlic pimiento cheese you have ever tasted (or smelled), but we all eat it stuffed into celery...and then we all stink--but we stink together.
An Attitude of Gratitude.
This one is big. Perhaps the biggest part of a happy holiday season. I know that the holidays are not always happy times. Sometimes they are the hardest times. Reminders of loved ones we've lost or happy times now gone. Holidays can be plain terrible if we allow ourselves to give into that mentality. Focus on all the blessings you've been given. Focus on the opportunities before you to shine your light into the world.
*Sometimes refocusing on the good is not enough. If you are unable to see the good things in your life, seek help. You don't have to climb through the fog alone. Seek counseling if needed and surround yourself with loving, supportive people. You can do this!
A Willingness to Help.
Now if you grew up in my house, you were stringing celery for the above mentioned garlic cheese by the time you were about four. If you did a good job, you got to also stuff the celery. My mother always had a million things going and always had a job for us to help with. And when other family members arrived and asked how they could help, she always managed to offer them a small job and make them feel included. The bottom line is that when you take part in the preparation of an event, you enjoy that event all the more. So whether you are helping your family in the kitchen or setting up tables at your local soup kitchen or charity, enjoy the fact that you are able to help--and then revel in the full mouths and happy faces.
Complete Disregard for Time.
Time is the only commodity we have that we can never, ever get back. So forget the ridiculous schedule that you usually live by. Our society glorifies busy. Rebel against that today! Don't think about that meeting next week. That deadline next month doesn't matter, at least not for today. Today you are having a perfect holiday. Today you can put that phone, planner, calendar, and watch away. Enjoy the moment. Eat until you're sick, watch the parade or the football game, or maybe just catch a cat nap.