Counselor's Corner: Holiday preparations: Kindness and connections


Fred Cavaiani

In the next three weeks many of us will be anticipating Christmas celebrations, Hanukkah celebrations, and many other religious/cultural celebrations. The last three weeks of December are probably the most reflective weeks of the year. People go shopping to think about getting gifts for others. Children hopefully look for a kind Santa Claus to bring them gifts. Relatives and friends anticipate festive gatherings as a time to reconnect and deepen their relationships. For about three weeks every December we anticipate a renewal of kind connections with family and friends. We remember those who have died and appreciate those who are still with us.

The month of December becomes a time for a personal renewal of the importance of kindness and compassion. Over many years when countries would be at war with each other, the latter part of December would even be a time out from war and conflict. When people gather together for kindness and loving connections, the blocks to friendship and family unity quickly surface. 

Each of us can always be helped by remembering the importance of loving connections and friendships. I have always loved December because I am reminded of what is important in life. A couple of days ago a good friend of ours died suddenly from a blood clot. This very loving woman was always smiling and always being kind to everyone. To be in her presence was to experience unconditional love and connection. Many people know someone like this. It becomes a challenging reminder to the real purpose of life: Kindness and connections. 

December causes me to realize that special times of spiritual and emotional connections are renewing and uplifting. To connect with others in a spiritual, emotional and uplifting manner are the great gifts in this life.

I become inspired every December observing the effort my wife makes in choosing gifts for family and friends. We now have seven grandchildren, and she makes a consistent effort in getting the right gift for each grandchild, each adult child and their spouse. Watching this becomes a renewal of understanding the importance of kindness and loving connections.

December consistently turns my attention to the importance of kindness to everyone. I must always realize this. Maybe this last month of each year is to remind everyone of what is most important in life. It becomes easy to forget what is important in life. The month of December gently jolts us into a realization of what is important and how to live life positively. Kindness and connection with everyone bring an internal joy and hope to those who act kindly and positively connect with others. The people who are kind to me and connect with me emotionally and spiritually make me a better person and motivate me to become kind and loving.

We are all on a journey through life together. December helps me to experience this with more depth. In these next three weeks, I will pay more attention to all the manifestations of kindness and connections that happen to me each day. These happen every day, but I must pay attention to all the ways kindness and loving connections happen each day. These last three weeks of every December can be a positive influence on everyone. But it is important to pay attention. December helps me to pay attention.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

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