How To Manage The Holiday Blues

So you don’t have the hallmark holiday family, or living situation.

Perhaps it is your first Christmas after a big break-up, job loss, or really any unfortunate event…

Either way, most of us do not run around having the best time ever over the holidays.

It can be a painful reminder of the perfect life that we do not have.

Christmas 2011, I got stuck in Vancouver, due to my job “losing” my holiday request.

It would be my first Christmas (ever), away from my family.  I was single, working a job I HATED (yep, this is a strong word, and I mean it).

After feeling sorry for myself for a solid week, which included telling every friend that would listen… I noticed, I was not the only Christmas orphan amongst my friends.

I decided then and there, I would make my own Christmas family.

A few days later, on the bus, cruising through the downtown east-side, I had a thought: maybe this holiday season I should stop thinking about myself, and do something for others…

And thus Christmas Cookies was born.

I sent out a massive email requesting baked cookies, and my friend’s time on Christmas Day.

We met at mine, poured ourselves generous cups of Bailey’s and coffee, packed our bags with homemade cookies, and walked around Hastings St, handing out cookies.

I remember looked around, at my friends, and seeing nothing but huge smiles.

Although, that was the first and last Cookie Christmas event, I have kept the tradition of trying to think about others on the holidays.

Each year, I take a day before Christmas to go through my closet, and fill one red “Santa” bag, full of things I don’t need or use.

I am not sharing this with you to brag about being a good Samaritan. I am sharing this with you, because if this time of year is tough on you, giving back, is an excellent way to help with this.

Who knows… you might meet someone new! You will definitely make someone’s day. Mostly, you will walk away feeling good.

It can be easy to get trapped in our own problems… it is ok to have sad times…but sometimes we have to get out of our own way, and remember, life isn’t that bad. There are people out there with far less, battling much more.

Here are five places to volunteer in Vancouver.

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Feed the people at The Food Bank:   https://www.foodbank.bc.ca/get-involved/volunteer/

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There are lots of ways to get involved with The Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmy.ca/volunteer1/

 

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Good Shepherd organizes food/clothing drives, serves food and takes donations: http://www.goodshepherd.ca/how-you-can-help/

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The Downtown Eastside Women’s Shelter loves clothes, toys for kiddos, and serves Christmas Breakfast & Dinner.  http://dewc.ca/donate

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Wish is a drop-in centre for sex-trade workers. They love clothes, toiletries, and volunteers. $20 can feed four ladies: http://wish-vancouver.net/how-can-you-help/

You don’t have to have reindeer that fly to give the gift of kindness this year. If you know a Christmas-orphan, I would love so much, if you share this with them.

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