Holiday Season

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It’s the first of December, and that means the holiday season is upon us.  We have survived Thanksgiving a week ago, and now everyone is hurtling towards Christmas in 24 days or Hanukkah in 23 days or whatever you happen to celebrate in X number of days.

This time of year has always been a trying one for me since I hit adulthood.  I hate going to malls or other stores to do any shopping thanks to my aversion to crowds.  Christmas shopping for an introvert is a horrible thing.  I’m thankful that the internet exists so I can do my shopping online and not venture out too much.

This time of  year is also difficult for me because it reminds me of my brother in many ways.  He would have turned 43 this December.  His birthday, Christmas, and his death are all within a 5 or 6 week window.  The last time I saw him was over the Christmas holidays in 2001.  He passed away just a few weeks later in January of 2002.  Time has helped to heal things, but it can still be difficult at times.  So far, this year seems like it will be just fine.

I am thankful that I have my health and that I live in a beautiful place and have a good job.  I’m also thankful because I’ve been able to reconnect with some family that I have never been particularly close to.  I’m discovering we have much in common, and in addition to the familial bonds, I sense I am gaining a very good friend in the process.  That’s something this introvert has always had a hard time finding.

As December continues, I will try to remember to stay patient because everyone seems to deal with extra stress this time of year.  I’m not the only one who dreads trips to the mall on a weekend in December and perhaps if I maintain my cool, they will, too.

2016 has been a challenging year for just about everyone in some form or another.  I hope that as we say good-bye to this year, and hello to 2017, we can all remind ourselves that we are sharing space with about 7 billion other people on this big blue ball and to be understanding, caring, and just plain good to our neighbors.

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