Helpful Tips & Holiday Reflections

This year, as in the past  five years, I was fortunate to spend a week at Christmastime with my children, Charles, Louise, plus Louise’s husband, Darrell, in the “Hawaii of Canada,” Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. It is an exquisite island with a temperate climate, clean air, and a view of the snow-covered Olympic Mountain Range from across the Pacific Ocean. Horse drawn carriages decorated for Christmas moved through the narrow streets and thousands of  small white lights outlined the government buildings making them look like Gingerbread houses. These lights were reflected in the water of the inner harbor. It is quite a sight to behold! 2012 Christmas at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC

My children always think of some special things for us to do when I visit. This year Darrell was able to get tickets for all of us to see “A Christmas Carol” at the Belfry Theater. This unusual theater was renovated from an old church and is intimate and charming. We ate at some special restaurants like Il Terrazzo and the Oak Bay Marina, but my favorite meal was the Christmas buffet at The Empress Hotel on Christmas Day. The turkey with dressing, and truffles were outstanding!

As I reflect on why this Christmas was so special, it was the love and connection I felt from my family. Relationships during the holidays can be very difficult. My family and I have worked hard on not criticizing or judging but coming from a place of acceptance and love. Also we have learned to be open to any helpful suggestions that any of us might offer to another…..just like a mirror reflecting back what one can’t see in themselves. Our feedback is given gently, and always with compassion and love.

So three helpful tips I can share with you as to how to keep harmony all year long with your loved ones:

1.  Do not judge others.

2.  THINK before you say or do anything that might be hurtful to someone else.

3.  Try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Did your Christmas go as expected? What can you share with us? What would you have done differently?

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