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The Secrets To Holiday Happiness

The Secrets To Holiday Happiness, Love, Kindness and Belonging, CAROLINE PHIPPS

by CAROLINE PHIPPS
“Deck the hall with boughs of holly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
'Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!”

Deck the Halls: Traditional Christmas, Yuletide and New Years’ Carol

The holiday season has arrived, as it always does, on a wave of unapologetic, good old-fashioned nostalgia and timeless tradition. The bustling Christmas Tree Farm brings memories of walking through the forest at dusk as a small child, with my brothers, having picked out the perfect tree.

We may live in unsettling times but there’s a place deep in our collective hearts that takes comfort in the familiar but evocative atmosphere of the holidays. In stores packed with shoppers Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is delivering its call for global caring in the same way it has done every holiday time since 1984. It never fails to touch me, never fails to inspire me to try harder to be a better citizen of the world. It’s seasonal message is every bit as powerful today as it was back then and maybe more so.

The customs and traditions of the holiday season play a vital role in strengthen our bonds with one another. We find great comfort and security in coming together knowing that despite any differences we may have we all agree that this is a time for sharing. Whether our beliefs are based in the secular or the sacred this is a season when we offer a helping hand and an extra dose of love and kindness along with the holiday cookies and mulled wine.

On a personal level the customs and rituals that nurture our sense of connection, belonging and continuity afford us precious time away from the pressures of our regular lives and we can safely indulge in a little rest, relaxation and reflection.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is to watch the British film “Love Actually” on Christmas Eve. Since its debut in 2003 it has never failed to deliver just the required dose of tongue-in-cheek sentimentality and delicious fun that leaves you feeling that all is well with the world and that, no matter what, it’s still love actually that makes the world turn.

As we go about our busy lives making preparations and wrapping gifts this holiday season let’s savor the threads of connectivity and belonging we are weaving for generations to come. Cradled as we are in the timeless beauty of the Berkshires, these hills with their small town caring communities and creativity, provide the perfect canvas for creating meaningful, magical holiday moments that will last.

What a blessing! Happy holidays to one and all.

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