The holiday season can be a reflective time. For me it reminds me of my the best parts of my youth. The "Ghost of Christmas Past" tends to visit me regularly during this time of year, and I am blessed with several positive memories of friends and family.
When I was a kid, my mom did not go overboard on the decorating, but she did make sure there was much holiday joy around the house (think presents, candy and cookies!). She liked to invite people to our home during the holidays. I recall relatives and friends popping in for "Hot Toddies" during the days around Christmas. I still enjoy the idea of seeing the people you love at the holidays.
This is an ideal time to remember those who have had a positive effect on your life. Some have come and gone throughout the years. Some have passed away. Others have drifted off in different directions. But people matter and it can be easy to lose sight of this powerful fact.
Sure, there are some bad people who have crossed your path... and we need not revisit these relationships. But I believe most people are of a good heart, and we should not forget that they would be thrilled to know you still think of them in such a powerful way.
Sending holiday cards is a great way to keep in touch. While limited, it is a tradition that exists for a reason. I have many friends who have profoundly touched my life with whom I am no longer in regular contact. While some are lost, others I have kept on my holiday card list because I cannot bring myself to stop wanting this annual "touch point". These people matter to me, helped shape me, and discarding them would just seem wrong.
People should not be discarded. While we certainly do not stay close to everyone, honoring the memory of a relationship is important. My roommate from the dorm at San Diego State (freshman year of college), Terry, and I have a tradition of a phone call at the holidays. He is a police officer in California, and we do not keep in contact regularly. But for over 20 years we have both cherished the annual conversation. I will call him this week, and look forward hearing about his life.
Only once have I ever felt discarded by another person. I had a misunderstanding with a friend who never gave me the chance to repair the problem (both of us were at fault). I was tossed aside like trash. This experience helped me understand the power of human relationships, and how important they are to our souls. I have tried to learn from this experience and have made people a priority. I hope I have not made others feel discarded, but if I have, I would actively participate in the repair of the situation.
Facebook and other social media tools have helped make it easier to stay in touch and to cherish relationships. While we all get pulled in different directions, these pervasive technologies makes it simple to keep in touch with those who matter to you. It does still take effort to keep a friendship alive. A "link" on a social media site does not in itself say "I care", and without occasionally reaching out to the people on your "friend lists", you will disappear from their view.
Take advantage of the holiday season to find ways to tell people they matter to you.
Have A Great Day.