Listening to holiday music, it occurs to me that not everyone finds this a time to celebrate. There are many reasons why this isn’t a happy season for some. It may be the first year without a loved one. Or it may be that circumstances separate people from those who mean the most. But having witnessed a large quantity of kind gestures, it seems that the best way to create a happy time is to give of yourself.

Maybe it’s a little late to volunteer somewhere such as a soup kitchen or shelter, but it’s a good thought to try. Most of the collections for children’s toys and coats have been completed but I suspect that some of them are still nearby. And there is always the simple reality of delivering kindness to your fellow man and woman.

Yesterday, I witnessed a couple paying for a senior citizen’s purchases. He was ahead of them in line and was wearing a World War II veterans cap so we know he must have been in his 90s. The gentleman silently paid for the bill, enabling the veteran to deliver a wide, grateful smile. Because I was there to see it all, I thanked the gentleman for his service and received another big smile.

Let someone into your lane on the road. Allow someone to go ahead of you in a shopping line. Deliver cookies to your neighbors. If you haven’t greeted your friends old and new with a holiday greeting, send an e-card or holiday email. If you see someone eating alone in a restaurant, invite him or her to join you. While you’re at it, make certain that you remember your server with something extra because he or she is required to work on this holiday.

For every interaction that you experience with a neighbor or stranger, there is an opportunity to improve that person’s holiday. As someone who is immensely grateful for my happy life and beautiful family, I always do what I can to honor and appreciate others. Maybe you can do the same. Shalom.

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