Be the gift that keeps on giving! Thanksgiving has come and gone, but giving thanks is something we should do consistently. It was refreshing to see how hearts were coming together around the world and people were helping their neighbors in need. The pandemic has affected us all in some type of way, but it’s been such a blessing seeing others that were able to help feed the homeless, churches partnering with other businesses to take care of those in need. And let’s not forget those random acts of kindness. I saw many posts on social media where people were willing to buy food to donate to families.

The end of the year can be hard for some. With the economy the way that it is, so many people have lost a lot this year. Jobs were lost and unemployment has been reduced or cut off. People that were barely making ends meet may be struggling and just like the old saying it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to take care of our community.

As we go into the Christmas season, let us not forget our neighbors. There may be people who need clothes, children hoping for a new toy, and someone in need of a hug. In 2020, so many people are missing a love one or a friend. Going into the holidays, is a tough time of year, but one thing for sure is we have each other to get through it. We may not all agree, all the time, but there is one thing that manages to pull us together and that is love. The bible tells us that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. I know that not everyone has something to give during these times, but love is all we need. Random acts of kindness go a long way. Pick up the phone and call someone that has not heard from you in a while. Send a Christmas card and let someone know that you are thinking about them or tell them that you love them. You can even bake goodies for your neighbor. There are so many little things that we can do to help others. Christmas isn’t about buying fancy gifts. Give the gift of love. The next time you are out, hold a door for someone. Wave at a stranger or let someone know how much they mean to you. It may surprise you, how much it would mean to them. A lot of people are empty this time of year and your love could be exactly what they need to fill their cup.

As you prepare for the holiday season, reach out to someone that has lost a loved one. Let them know that during this time, they do not have to allow depression to take over. Allow them to know, it is okay to reach out and say, I am not ok. Let us not forget those love ones that are no longer with us. It is hard to let go how much joy and happiness they added to our lives, especially during this this time of year. Allow yourself time to remember that person and how much they mean to you. Celebrate those memories that you are holding in your heart. It is not easy, but it’s a great way to grieve. Don’t allow yourself to be isolated because it’s not going to help you. Surround yourself with love and people that love you. Look for ways to honor the person you loved and reach out to someone else who may understand what you are going through and share your feelings. Laugh, cry, and talk about what you are going through. You may have to dig deep within to find your joy, but It is there.

This year has caught us all by surprise, but we’ve made it; and we’ve made it together and that is definitely something to celebrate. Look for things to be joyful about. Write down a list of things that you are thankful for; even though the things that we’ve endured, was never a part of our plans. Just as so many other people, I’m sure you wrote a new year resolution, and it may have shifted. Despite everything that everyone has endured in 2020; you’ve made it. And this one goes down in the books. Look around you, stop and admire your strength, your perseverance, and how much you’ve been stretched this year. Everyone could use love, so don’t forget to spread love throughout the remainder of this year and be that gift that keeps on giving!