It’s Christmas

Christmas is here. That means it is end of the year. It is time to take stock of things. It is time to ask some questions and time to plan for the next year.

There are six questions I will be asking myself in the next few days:

-Am I healthier today than I was one year ago?
-Am I physically more active today than I was one year ago?
-Am I eating healthier today than I was one year ago?
-Am I happier today than I was one year ago?
-Am I better off today than I was one year ago?
-And how can I improve on this next year?

Just asking these questions is not enough. We should convert this into a written exercise so appropriate answers are in black and white. The next step would be to read these questions and answers aloud to your partner, to your family or to your friends.

No two years are the same. Each year there are many things one can look back on and be grateful about. Equally, there are many things we can look back on and complain about. Sometimes the glass is half full and sometimes it is half empty. And sometimes the glass isn’t there.

But the spirit of Christmas is always there. I find that so wonderful. So many people put in so much effort to make the occasion a happy one. There is something for everyone. Especially for people who are disadvantaged and marginalized in our affluent society. Christmas brings cheers for them as well.

We also know that Christmas holidays can be a time for unfortunate occurrences. It is a busy time of the year when many people take family holidays. No matter how much time you have put into planning everything, you cannot guarantee that everything will run smoothly.

Use and abuse of alcohol and food is significant at this time of the year. One study revealed that alcohol-related traffic deaths tend to be higher during the Christmas and New Year holiday periods than during the year as a whole. Christmas should be fun but it can also send your stress levels soaring. Studies have shown that one in five gets stressed during the Christmas holidays. By January, the suicide rates go up. These are just few examples of what can go wrong during the festive season. So take it easy and do not overdo anything.

This is my 23rd Christmas in Medicine Hat and in August I celebrated 10 years of writing this column. I like to thank the editors and readers of the Medicine Hat News for their support and encouragement. Allow me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let me end by quoting lyrics from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

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