The Gift Of Giving

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on

‘Tis the season of gift giving. Buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving. We spend so much time searching for the perfect gift and so sometimes so much money. But the best gift we can give is the gift of ourselves.

Christmas brings out the spirit of giving, but giving of ourselves is something we can do all year long. Most all of us live in places where there are other people and it provides us with the opportunity to give to others all the time.

The opportunities are endless. Some take a bit more time than others but all give to others. The only cost is your time and a bit of your heart. Here are some possible opportunities to give of yourself. If you do not have these exact things where you live, I am sure there are things that are similar.

* Provide donations at a local food bank or other similar food distribution place. Many people are in need of food all throughout the year in our communities. Help these places to serve them.

* Adopt a family or children through your local family and children’s services or reach out to child protective services. Offer your time to collect and donate clothes, toys, and other items to help kids in need.

* Organize a hat and mitten tree donation through your school district at all the schools. Or just donate hats and mittens to local schools yourself. There are a lot of kids that are in need of these items during the colder months of the year.

* Organize a gift card drive for at risk and homeless students in your schools at various times throughout the year. Or just donate gift cards to local schools yourself. Gift cards for food and clothing as well as personal care items can help so many.

* Organize a coat and sock drive for your local homeless shelter or other homeless adult services. Or just donate coats and socks to local shelters or other services yourself. Having a coat or a good pair of socks can provide much needed warmth and protection.

* Donate items to local assisted living facilities puzzles, coloring supplies, arts and crafts supplies and other items to fill the time. In almost every town there are places like these with elderly people who are alone. And this year they are more alone than ever before.

* Find out what group homes for adolescent and younger children exist in your area and donate items that they might find useful such as puzzles, games, arts and crafts items, coats and hats, toys. These children are often alone at Christmas and even more so this year.

These are a tiny fraction of the opportunities available for giving of yourself. It does not have to be a big thing or an organized thing. It can be one thing done for one person that makes all the difference. And it can be done all year long. Practice the gift of giving of yourself and you will also be given to in gratitude and love.

In Silent Night Of Christmas

By Robin McNamara

The silent night crisped the air
With white stillness. 
Although; this Christmas can’t 
compare to ones gone before.
The fire awaits and the lights 
Are on neighboring houses,
Windows smiling with light.
We tell the story of a Bethlehem 
Journey, that we need now
More than ever before.
Silent Night fills the air,
The holidays seem to be the 
Only thing we can embrace, 
In a time of gloves and masks 
And uncertainty of family gatherings. 
This Christmas will not compare 
To ones to come and ones gone.

Christmas Lights Make Me Happy

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Christmas lights make me happy. It does not matter the time of year or the situation or place, seeing Christmas lights will always, always make me happy.

2020 has been a year full of unhappy things and events. Surrounded by hate, division, blame and Covid. Add on election tumult and you have a recipe for frustration, anger, sadness, and grief. None of these are happy things.

I have struggled with my private practice. Not because it is not doing well from a business standpoint, it is acctually doing very very well. Lots of people are seeking help with their mental health, which 2020 has also impacted greatly. I have more clients than I can see effectively and many more calling daily to try and get in to see me.

I cannot take on any new clients. I am at the limit of my own capacity for sessions about Covid or political climate or social issues for 7-10 hours a day five days a week.

I do try desperately to do my own self-care but at the end of the day I am so tired I have little left with which to work. On the every other weekend that I am off both Saturday and Sunday, I just want to be a vegetable and binge watch movies and TV shows.

I am not writing this as a “poor me” story. My life is wonderful. I have a husband and family that love me completely. I make a very good living. I lack for nothing. But I am tired. I am tired in my body, in my mind, and in my spirit.

I am tired.

Shortly after Halloween, I began thinking I wanted to put up my Christmas decorations in the office. But I hesitated thinking that it was rushing seasons and skipping Thanksgiving, which I love, but not as much as Christmas. The more I thought about it though the more convinced I became that being happy is more important than being holiday correct.

On Wednesday of this week, I had a break in my therapy schedule and I put up all the office Christmas decorations. During the process, I was happy, lighter, smiling, and I even put on Christmas music to go with it. When it was finished, I was beyond thrilled and my heart was glad.

Every day now when I come in and turn on the lights and see the beautiful decorations, I smile and it makes me happy. When the clients come in they smile and are happy to see it.

I am still tired. But that little dopamine burst every time I flick the switch to turn on the Christmas lights, makes it a bit easier to bear. I will be putting up my home decorations next week. So every evening when I go home tired and worn down, I can sit in the midst of Christmas lights and decorations and be happy and smile.

I have a sign in my office that says, do one thing every day that makes you happy. Turning on these lights makes me happy – every day.

Until next time be well,



Day has arrived
in all its glory
time to be merry
or that’s the story

Presents are opened
stockings taken down
only smiles in sight
never a frown

Dinner is served
eaten in full
nap on the couch
that seems to be the rule

One day a year
to be merry it seems
filled with food
laughter and dreams

Maybe being merry
should be every day
wouldn’t the world
be better off that way


Day before the day
anticipation in full
waiting on Santa
the sleigh to pull

Hours tick by slowly
each one counted out
closer to Christmas
building to a shout

Presents that mock us
all around the tree
seemingly screaming
open me open me

No matter the age
kids still await
Christmas morning
to learn their gift fate

Day before the day
waiting for it to leave
the longest day of all
happy Christmas Eve!


Such a sap
cry so easy
with every holiday

Each song
and scene
bringing tears
back again

Tender heart
soft soul
spirit open
emotions broken

Such a sap
little things
touch the heart
tears fall

CocaCola bears
Apple Christmas videos
stories of magical
holiday cheer

Music plays
scenes fill the screen
once again
such a sap


Rushing to and fro
unsure which way to go
always running this time of year
looking for Christmas cheer

Take some time slow it down
before smiles become frowns
stress isn’t healthy it’s true
rushing is no good for you


Holiday blues
have come to visit
sliding up inside
in mind

Came silently
without much notice
until they stayed
without warning

Usually happy
this time of year
not so much
this time

Feeling weepy
a lot stressed
not sure why
oh dear

Go away
and very soon
these holiday blues
from me

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