A Facebook friend posted something about all the depressed people during the holidays. I understand what she’s talking about. Television shows, commercials and movies about the holiday season are in many ways a fantasy. Real life is another story….

In real life, not every family is surrounded by loved ones during the holidays. Many can’t get off work or may not be able to afford to travel or may not have any relatives at all. The picture of opening the front door to a group of people holding beautifully wrapped packages is something many folks may  not experience this holiday season.

There are a lot of lonely people out there. Perhaps the greatest gift we can give to someone is our time and friendship. Do you know an elderly person who has no-one to visit them during the holidays? Maybe a neighbor who is new in the area and hasn’t had a chance to make friends? What about that family who is struggling just to keep a roof over their heads?

The greatest memory I have of Christmas was from over 30 years ago. The afternoon before Christmas, a young girl who lived in my apartment building stopped by to visit. I asked her if she was all ready for Christmas. She said her Mother had no money to buy a tree or put up any decorations. She looked so sad, I knew I had to do something about it. I scooped up my children and put them in the car and headed over to Woolworths. I asked for help at the store, because being Jewish, I had no experience buying Christmas decorations. I had twenty dollars in my wallet. I was able to make it go very far because everything was already marked down for the after Christmas clearance.

An hour later, I was at my neighbor’s door with a small artificial tree and lots of decorations. I will never forget the look on that young girl’s face. The children and I had so much fun helping her decorate her small apartment. When her Mother came home from her second job, she was speechless but her smile lit up the room!

Share your holiday with someone who would appreciate your kindness and friendship…. and as they say in Jewish, “Reap the nachas (joy)!”

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