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Make the spirit of the holidays your own

Most people seem to enjoy the holiday season from Thanksgiving through Christmas and into the New Year celebration. But some of us have a hard time dealing with this time of year.There are many reasons for this.Probably the biggest difficulty for me is the sense of being forced into feeling something that may not be genuine.Though I try hard to be positive about life and the many blessings it brings my way, being told I have to be cheerful because of the holidays doesn’t bring me joy.Joy comes from spontaneous giving throughout the year. It’s a wonderful thing to be the giver or the receiver of a gift made special by being unexpected.Dr. Will Evans did it to me a few weeks ago with the book “1491, New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” by Charles C. Mann.The inscription inside read, “for Bill Kight with appreciation from my heart …”The look of surprise and thankfulness from someone you care about when you say how much you appreciate them warms both your heart and theirs.Trying to package that special feeling into something commercial and material that’s supposed to last the whole holiday season can create false expectations.Our culture bombards us with so much anticipation of magic moments of blissful holiday ecstasy that not buying into the hype can create depression.So my solution is keeping things simple by deciding to make this time of year special in a way that’s meaningful to me.Since I enjoy giving, why not give myself the gift of living for the moment, making the spirit behind the real meaning of the holidays my own.I will give the gift of taking time for myself. Staying physically active is important in fighting depression so I will take walks more often and make them last longer.When feeling sad about the loss of loved ones instead of fighting the feeling, I will let it cleanse me. In my own time and place I will say their name out loud and offer a prayer to them, “Thank you for being a part of my life.”Thanksgiving was special for me this year because our family celebrated in from the heart. We joined hands at the dinner table and each person gave thanks in their own way.It was a time to look to the past and say a prayer of thanksgiving for “all my relations and their sacrifices that made it possible for us to be here today.”Now that Thanksgiving is past, I will look to the future. I will celebrate by doing something special for someone else.Doing something new and different this time of year means making my own traditions. A column devoted to those hit with the holiday blues is a good start.And next time I see one of those ugly plastic Santa Clauses symbolizing what the holidays aren’t, I will cross my eyes, stick out my tongue and give a big raspberry … from all of us.Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, shares his stories and concerns with readers every other week.


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