Conquering holiday worries with faith and hope

The winter holidays and the transition to a new year can take worrying to a whole new level. Somehow this time of year brings a mixed blessing even in the best of times. I am confronted with the contradictions in my life such as how to plan for the holidays amid a worsening economy. I alternately look forward to parties and feel guilty for not doing more to help others. I make my gift list at the same time as I wonder if that money should be spent in a more practical way. I want to create a warm and loving holiday celebration for my family, but I worry about what next year will bring to all of us. You have to be careful at this time of year not to get deeply depressed, especially with the current state of affairs in our country and our world. There is just an awful lot to worry about this season.

Today’s crises are no more intense and overwhelming than those humankind has endured for centuries. As a matter of fact do you know what we are celebrating at this time of year? Our year-end holidays celebrate the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Thanksgiving is the holiday started by our Pilgrim forebears because they made it through their first harsh year in New England. Chanukah commemorates a miracle that occurred in the war torn country of the ancient Jews. Christmas celebrates the incredibly humble birth of a poor child who inspired a new world religion.

In other words these holidays are a reminder that even at the worst of times, if you have faith and hope you will not only come through hardship but you will be better for it.

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