The holiday season can be tricky. Spending time with family can be fantastic, but if anyone knows how to push buttons, it’s those near and dear to us. Holidays are also the time we reflect on, and miss, the loved ones who are no longer with us to celebrate the joy of the season.
Whether you’re spending the season alone or surrounded by your loving/overwhelming family, this month is the time to reflect on 2019, make plans for 2020 and practice gratitude.
As a species, we are programmed to focus on the negative in our lives as a survival tactic, but studies show that if we practice gratitude, we become more content. It’s not wealth, beauty or the perfect physique that creates joy…it’s being thankful.
Exercising mindfulness and enjoying the great outdoors are also markers for happiness, and being present when you’re outdoors can improve your emotional state.
My personal goal this Christmas is to purchase as many gifts as possible from local Toledo vendors. That won’t be as simple as clicking “buy now” on Amazon, but it sets a precedent for my kids: supporting small businesses is important and buying local is more meaningful than an overpriced Ryan’s Toy Review egg. Plus, it cuts down on shipping waste, which helps our environment.
We have so many small businesses in Toledo that it is impossible to include them all, but check out our Holiday Gift Guide for ideas on buying locally. Holiday Happenings is a great list of Toledo area events, and our columns will surely pull on your heartstrings this month. Happy reading!
Erin Schoen Marsh
Toledo Parent Assignment Editor