This Holiday Season, Don’t Forget the Spirit!


By Riana Milne The Pineapple Contributing Writer Is it just me, or the fact that I am getting older, that the commercialism of Christmas and the Holiday season is overwhelming to the point of repulsive? I hesitate to turn on the TV because of all the “screaming commercials” about sales, discounts, and the demand that I “hurry in” to their store or dealership. They insist “I need this, don’t have enough of that, or get it now or you’ll be sorry!” I opt instead for a motivational CD that delivers a message about remembering your blessings every day and having gratitude for everything you do have in life. When people talk about the spirit of the season, do you see it? Do you feel it? Do you offer it – your time, energy, patience, kindness, understanding, peace, and donations of food or clothing to those in need? Or, are you all caught up in what’s for sale, going into credit card debt to buy a ton of gifts for one or a few days of the year? Christmas is a day of celebration due to the birth of baby Jesus. Yes, the wise-men each bought one gift; but was their gift not more of the time they travelled, and the celebration of birth of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit is often referred to as “the Light,” symbolizing hope, love, and peace that we should offer to others all year long. There are several meanings for Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The first is of religious freedom — the right of people to worship freely and celebrate their faith; in celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem due to the Macabees’ defeat of the large Greek- Syrian army that invaded Israel. This was not just a military victory, but the ultimate triumph of God and the spiritual victory of the Jews over their oppressors. Second, the Hanukkah menorah, reminds us of the miracle of the oil, as only one flask of oil for the eternal lamp was enough to keep it burning for just one day. But a miracle occurred, and the oil lasted eight days and nights until more oil arrived. That explains why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and is called the Festival of Lights. The eternal flame of the temple signifies that God’s presence is ongoing, and his spirit never dies. These are the gifts that are most important….traditions, memories, family, and gratitude for those who came before us. So this Holiday season be sure to give the gift of Spirit and Light. Is there someone in your community, a family member, or a friend that needs your help or company this season? Is there someone in particular that you need to make amends with? Offer a sincere apology and give yourself and them the gift of loving forgiveness. Spending quality time with my loving boyfriend, daughters, grandson, parents and other family members are all the gifts I need. Keeping in touch with my single friends to make sure they are allright and have plans for the holidays is also a priority. Being available to my clients by phone should they need me, is offered all year long, but holiday time is especially important to be available to those who could be depressed, lonely, anxious, or fearful. Take the time to sit and reflect on your many Blessings this holiday season. Read books of inspiration and motivation that make you feel happy and uplifted; or gift a book to someone who needs some cheer. Thank God or your Higher Power for all the gifts you do have, and start reflecting on fresh goals for the approaching New Year. Cleanse your environment to make it peaceful and serene; donate items you haven’t used for a year, or no longer need. Reach out to distant friends. Give the gift of time and your presence. The gift of fond, family memories can never be replaced or bought. Seeing the simple, innocent joy on my Grandson’s face, watching him do his outrageous belly laughs, and admiring with pride the wonderful mother my eldest daughter Stephana has become is priceless. Spending quality time with my youngest daughter from LA, Alexi, while she is in the Delray area shooting her TV show, Operation Build (on the History Channel – 7:30 am EST, Saturdays) is time we really cherish. Creating life-time, treasured memories with those you love are the best gifts to have – because in the end, you can’t take anything with you. Your memories of a life you are proud of because you loved, lived and worked with a purpose to help the greater good, is what you take with you and what you are remembered for. Giving and sharing love, praying for peace and hope for all, offering your heart and help where you can, and living daily with gratitude…that is the spirit and true gifts of the Holiday season. Riana Mine, MA, LMHC, CAP, SAC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cert. Addictions Professional at Therapy by the Sea, LLC; 15300 Jog Rd, Suite 109, Delray Beach. Also a Certified Relationship & Life Coach, published author, and motivational speaker, her free App: My Relationship Coach offers more articles and her books, LIVE Beyond Your Dreams – from Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose and Success, and LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve addresses relationships with yourself and others. To learn more or suggest a topic, go to Riana’s website, or email Office: (561) 701-8277. FB: Coach Riana Milne