Many of us are busy finishing preparations for family parties, wrapping last minute gifts, boarding flights to visit distant relatives, and generally getting excited for the holiday and the dawning of another year.23728463_s

As I sit here taking a break from my own cleaning spree before my guests arrive, I want to take a moment to say a simple prayer for all of those who are dreading the holiday because they feel utterly alone, lost someone dear, or are unable to reconnect with family and friends (such as soldiers abroad).  As someone who has struggled with depression throughout my life, I’m acutely aware of how quickly one can tumble into a state of despair, and how the sense of isolation is exaggerated when everyone else seems merry and bright.

And although recently I’ve been enjoying a long stretch of good mental health, each holiday I remember my family members who are no longer with us.  With Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra singing old sentimental favorites in the background, I wonder how my grandparents or step-father might view my growing children, my foray into writing, and any number of other little things I’ll never be able to share with those who were once so central in my life.

So if I can help even one sad person feel thought of today, then I hope this wish finds him or her and reminds them that there is always love, hope, and good life to be had when they are ready to reach out and participate.

Merry Christmas and may 2014 bring good cheer to all.

XO-jamie