THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Preparing for the holidays


In one week, it will be Christmas for Christians of all denominations. For people of other Faiths this time of the year is also a Holiday time. Whatever we believe or don't believe, the last week of December is a time of gathering together. Everyone is wished Happy Holidays. Work slows down. Many people have more free time to celebrate and welcome in the New Year. It becomes a time of preparation for having family and friends get together. Gifts are exchanged. There are more marriage proposals between December 24 and Jan 1 than any other month in the whole year. Love is in the air. In 1914 the German army had an unofficial truce with the French and Belgium armies and exchanged food and played soccer on Christmas. There is something about Christmas that can challenge and inspire us to withdraw from hostilities toward one another.

This last week of the year reminds us of what love and peace really are. A time to end rancor and anger. A time to be loving toward one another. A time to give gifts.

How do we prepare for this so that this peaceful and loving time of the year may always be present in our personal life?

Maybe we all need an attitude readjustment. This attitude readjustment is the realization that when I am loving towards others, I can put aside my own selfishness. It is an awareness that happiness only can come from love. This love is a decision to be caring and compassionate toward everyone. Love disarms people and disarms our own personal self. It seems to affect all of us during this last week of the year.

Maybe each day of our life should be like this last week of December. It is not how much we prepare the house, the food, buying the gifts, and worrying about the parties we will be having or the parties we will be attending. The most important principle in life is to be loving and compassionate each day, especially to those in our family and then to everyone we meet each day.

We begin to free ourselves from negativity when we are loving toward others. When we become focused on Love and how to love, we become simple in our approach to life. Love means that others do not have to change. It just means that we keep bringing goodness to other people by our thoughts and actions. It seems simple but it is profound and positive to those around us. In this attitude of loving, we bring positive energy to everyone around us.

There is one thing that all of us can do to prepare for this Holiday Season: Embrace an attitude of giving the gift of love, kindness and positive affirmation to everyone. When this is done, the investment in negativity and how other people should be goes out the window.

Television shows many programs which express the basic principle of people being kind, loving and forgiving to each other during this month of December. It is like the meaning of Love influences every part of our lives. Whenever someone greets me in a loving manner, I feel better. I feel hopeful. Smiles, hugs, and kind greetings push me in the direction of experiencing love. When people open the door for me at a store or at a restaurant, I feel a connection of love and goodness between us. When I start criticizing someone else or I am in the company of people who put down other people by their words, I feel sad inside. I also feel sad when I am internally criticizing other people in my thoughts. I am realizing more and more that Love means thinking and acting positive and loving toward others. No matter how anyone else might treat me, when I remain kind and loving, their misery will fall back upon themselves and my kindness becomes a quiet gift to them to consider the possibility of being loving.

When I can simply bring Love to you, then I don't have to worry about changing you. Christmas and so many other Holidays are a time for pondering the simple meaning of the Power of Love. When we keep life simple and focus on how well we express love and kindness to others, life becomes very simple. It also becomes very joyful. Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Holidays everyone. Bring the gift of love to your family. Bring this gift to your friends. Bring this gift to everyone. And you will be surrounded by Love. And again, the world around you will be better because you are loving and kind. Heal your family, friends, and those you meet each day, with your LOVE.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan he is also on staff at Capuchin Retreat Center in Washington, MI. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is:

Published: Tue, Dec 18, 2018