The holiday season can fill us with warmth. And I’m not just referring to the warmth of the chili I enjoyed this week at a neighborhood holiday chili party. The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family. It’s also a time of reflection… a very meaningful gift we can each give ourselves.
Meaningful Moments At The Neighborhood Holiday Party
Neighborhood holiday gatherings always remind me that I’m not living on an island. It turns out that the people around me know who I am. They enjoy seeing me walk my goofy dog, Skipper, past their houses every morning.
My neighbors feel safe(r) knowing there is a veterinarian in their neighborhood just in case anything were to happen to their furry family members. Though, in reality, I’ve lived in this neighborhood for almost 10 years now, and have only had one neighbor swing by with a sick pet. I have however given a number of consultations while holding a leash and a plastic bag full of poo. Still, the knowledge that I’m here makes them happy, and that makes me happy on a deep level.
One of my favorite parts of any neighborhood get-together is the “remember when” portion of the event. At the recent holiday chili party, “remember when” stories were told about long-grown children, favorite pets, lost hearing aids, and a life-size cutout of former president Ronald Regan. I laughed until my sides hurt, and then I felt like I had participated in something meaningful.
The Importance Of “Remember When”
“Remembering when” is one of the most important parts of the holiday season. Taking the time to reflect on the journey that is our lives gives us a perspective that we wouldn’t otherwise get. As humans, we seem to be hard-wired to worry about the future and toil in the present. But not to look back and appreciate what we have seen, done, and learned. That’s a real shame.
Looking back is actually a key way in which we can move forward.
Reflection allows us to hold the trophy for our successes, acknowledge our strengths, turn experiences into understanding, and find areas for growth.
Take The Time To Reflect
This holiday season, we should all take a few minutes to reflect on the year – and life in general. Think about all the accomplishments, what has brought joy, and the obstacles we’ve overcome. It’s a gift we can give ourselves, but can easily give to others.
Try it at the clinic with the “remember when” game. Simply start by going first and watch people start to smile and draw together. That’s what the holidays are all about.