South Central WI Archive
December 2013

December 2013

A simple gift

One of my most meaningful holiday memories is from just a few years ago. I invited a friend and her daughters to join my children and me as volunteers for a holiday party that a local nonprofit was holding for local individuals struggling with mental illness. Annual tradition called for a visit from Santa, who had a gift for each and every attendee. This nonprofit relied on generous community members to donate gifts (which were often the only presents many in attendance would receive for Christmas), so I mentioned that to my friend.

The night of the party, after the setup, dinner and cleanup, all of us volunteers watched as each person’s name was called by Santa, so he could present their gift. The anticipation, excitement and appreciation in the air was palpable. At one point, a smiling woman was brought to tears by her gift: a beautiful, handmade, comforting, tie blanket. I turned to my friend and noticed tears streaming down her face. When I leaned over to put my arm around her, she whispered that the blanket was her and her daughters’ donation.

That was a powerful moment for both of us. What my friend thought was such a simple gift brought so much joy to the life of another. And if it was, in fact, this woman’s only Christmas present that year, she was going to be happy.

Why am I sharing this memory with you? As a reminder that you don’t need to go to extremes this holiday season to bring joy to others. Keep it simple, think of the less fortunate and enjoy yourself this year. The reduced stress will do wonders for your health!

This issue is packed with information to help you on your quest for optimal health, not only this month, but also into the new year. Sara Alvarado reminds us of the importance of practicing “living in abundance” and gratitude, especially at home. Jade Bunk explains the benefits of kettlebell workouts, and why we should incorporate this unique tool into our fitness routines. Douglas Nicholson shares some drug-free approaches to managing seasonal affective disorder, including massage! And there is so much more, so keep reading!

All of us at Nature’s Pathways send our best wishes to each of you for a joyful and healthy holiday season!

 

In health and happiness,
Jackie

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