Top 10 Ways To Navigate Grief During The Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time for millions of people to celebrate life and the blessings of God, but for a very large part of our population the holidays represent a time of depression and an overwhelming sense of loss.  Many people have lost loved ones that were very close to them and this year represents the very first year that they will have to “celebrate” alone.  If you, or you know someone, that is in this situation here are ten things that might help you navigate this tumultuous time.

  1. Don’t just sit and meditate on the person that is no longer with you.
  2. Don’t attempt to recreate the same traditions without the person.
  3. Don’t buy them a gift in memory of them.
  4. Don’t watch sad or emotional movies.
  5. Don’t feel guilty for experiencing joy.
  6. Do find someone to spend time with (yes, you do know people.  Think!)
  7. Do spend time outside of your home
  8. Do find someone to do something for.
  9. Do something that you enjoy doing that you did not do with your lost loved one.
  10. Do keep yourself busy.
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Beat The Rush

If you act now you can beat the rush.  Think about it, in just a couple of short weeks we will be on the threshold of Christmas, the most commercial and religious holiday of the year.  With that comes the old sagging (like grandma’s triceps) debate of “Happy Holidays” verses “Merry Christmas.”    So in order to beat the rush you need to choose your holiday (or Christmas) greeting now.

 

Right about now you’re hoping that I stay true to my Christian heritage and put up a theological smoke screen to support the boycotters in their attempt to force certain stores to put those darn words of “Merry Christmas” back on their walls.  Yea verily, tear down thy Happy Holiday idols, and replace it with the most holy of holy phrases, “Merry Christmas.” Because after all, Christmas means, “the Mass of Christ.”  It’s all about Jesus and his birth.  Plus, we all feel better about ourselves if we can join in the major flow of commercialism, buying selling and indebting ourselves to the great machine, and still make the clarion call of MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Of course the one thing we are absolutely positive of is that Jesus was not born on Christmas.  More than likely it was sometime during the summer like June or July, but not December.  That just doesn’t line up with historical fact and biblical timelines.  So why in December you ask?  I’ll save you the long description, but basically the ruler at the time was trying to keep peace between Christians and the Romans…So he combined the two holidays into one.  Viola’, Christmas.  So historically the celebration of Jesus’ birth has almost always shared the day with someone else…Hmmmm.  Maybe happy holidays fits better.

 

I know you think this is sacrilege, but what is the important thing about Christmas?  I know what it is for me but I’m not living your life.  Personally when I see people force verbiage like Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays on anyone it’s foolishness.  It’s not a verbiage thing.  It never has been and it never will be.  It’s about something much deeper and more profound than a celebration or shallow words.  It is about taking time out to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ.  It is the one time of the year where 98% of Americans turn their thoughts to good tidings, joy, peace, and love.  Wow.  Tell me one other time during the year where you can get the majority of the population of our country focusing on the fruits of the Spirit.  Interesting huh?   So let’s all beat the rush and put down our verbiage placards of dissention, and recognize that there is no better time of the year to talk about, and lead others to, a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

ART? DESIGN?

My guest blogger today is Vina Howell.  Vina is our graphic and web designer at SouthPoint and she is so gifted it’s actually scary.  Her are some of her thoughts.

“Good Art Sends a Different Message to Everyone. Good Design Sends the Same Message to Everyone.” – John O’Nolan

At this moment in my life, I think I’m ready to be an artist. What’s the difference between a designer and an artist? Artist express themselves through their unique taste, designers express the brand/ the company/ the people with their unique taste. Good art is talent; good design is skill. Design solves a problem; art evokes an emotion. Design has a practical purpose; art has a provoking purpose. Art is subjective; design is objective. Design has a client to please; art pleases those who connect with it.

 

Artist are dreamers, they break the rules, and create things that were truly just a figment of the imagination. An artist that parades as a designers soon becomes restless because they realize they are not living up to their God-given gifts and talents. They have been parading as a designer all this time, relying on their skill, doing things that are practical and living out the dream someone else had for their lives.

 

When an artist encounters the ultimate artist, the one who creates from nothing- The Creator God, things change. They began to see what others cannot or refuse to see. They look through a different lens that allows them to draw their life in a way that changes the lives of others. They are able to take the things that God has uniquely placed inside of them and pour them out on the canvas of someone else’s life.

 

Good art sends a different message to everyone. It crosses cultural and language barriers. It communicates in a way that written and verbal messages cannot. Artists create art that is subjective and everyone may not get why artist do what they do or why a piece of art is the way it is. But those who connect with it can be changed forever.  I think we all can choose to be artist. After all, “a life well lived is the most exquisite work of art.” –Erwin McManus