Gift of the Holidays
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Gift of the Holidays

In each Council Corner I have written in December, I have digressed attention away from municipal issues to pause and reflect on the season at hand. With the chill and dampness in the air and the shortened hours of daylight, I am once again reminded that the period between the middle of November and the end of the year is a time when many of us manage to escape from the burdens of our hectic lives and immerse ourselves into the festiveness of the season. It is a time filled with parties and get-togethers and of exchanging gifts. We see opened boxes of candies and trays of homemade sweets available to all in the workplace to share.

The challenging economic times that we have experienced over the past four years has not treated many of our neighbors very well. As each season passes, the impacts of economic difficulties seem to be touching more and more of our loved ones. And while many of us, our families, and friends are trying to live through the difficult times, there are still many who take the time and effort to extend greetings of the season. We hear sayings like “Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?” or “Have a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous New Year!” to be followed after the new year with “What did you do for the holidays?”

This is the time of the year when no matter what circumstance in which we find ourselves, people seem to reach deep inside themselves to see the best of things. Perhaps it is something about the “holiday season” that gives people a sense of happiness and goodwill toward others or the hope of new beginnings as the New Year approaches. We seem to rekindle family bonds through current pictures of the families, stories of the children and telephone conversations that seem to get placed on the “back burner” during the rest of the year.

The season of well-wishing, giving, and togetherness comes at a time when daylight is with us for the fewest number of hours each day or skies are overcast sometimes treating us to falling raindrops. We find ourselves donning more sweaters and thicker jackets and participating in more indoor activities. It would not be unreasonable to expect that these conditions would lead to grumpy attitudes but instead, smiles appear on people’s faces as they enjoy the happiness of the season and of being together with others.

Wishing others the best of the holidays takes so little effort yet says so much. And if by doing so someone’s spirits are uplifted by receiving a greeting, we are all the better for it. I would like to think that taking the time to express that appreciation to others is part of the fabric of the human spirit. Another part of the human spirit is to help others who are less fortunate and at this time of year, I take that special look at those less fortunate and find myself offering what I can to brightening their lives. I know I feel the need to demonstrate my appreciation of those who have been special in my life during the past year.

Then all too soon the holiday season is over and we find ourselves back in the normal daily routines of our lives. I continue to believe that it would be a much better world if everyone kept the spirit of happiness and giving alive throughout the year. My New Year’s resolution is to keep alive the spirit of the holidays, all year long by doing something for those less fortunate than I. It is my sincerest desire to put more smiles on faces throughout the year and not limiting my actions to just the holiday season.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

I would appreciate your comments on this and other issues by emailing me at
akiesel@fostercity.org or by phone - 650-573-7359.

Council Corner

December 19, 2012
Gift of the Holidays
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