Sunday, December 27, 2015


First posted in 2009--with variations each year Sharing with Santa
The words and melody from the radio filled my car. A winter wonderland was outside. Kids, amid shrieks of laughter and merriment, were sledding down the hill at the high school on anything large enough to sit on. I'm certain school vacation is adding to this happiest of times. 

My counseling background kicks in. I know that holidays aren't the happiest of times for many old people. So I decide to phone some elderly friends, simply to say "hello" and ask "how are you?"  

Let me share what I learned-- 

It's the happiest time of the year for children-- who have none of the responsibilities of adulthood. 

It's the happiest time when elders and younger family members can be together--feeling the warmth--sharing, and reminiscing. The excitement of the children and grandchildren provides a background of energy and optimism. 

 And yet-- "The holidays are a time when our mind drifts back to past Christmases that were happy times. It's a sentimental time," recalls one 80-year-old widow. "It's a wonderful time when families can get together, yet a lot of people are completely alone. As people get older, they have experienced losses. Especially for those who've lost their mates, other people's happiness can be a reminder of the losses we've incurred. We're just more vulnerable to that kind of thing when we get older."

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