This is my theme for the holidays this year. Comfort and sanctuary. Read. Write. Rest. Play. Pray. Whatever fills us up.

Life is so fleeting, isn’t it? So why should we stress about anything? Regardless of which holiday one celebrates or how, there’s just a couple of weeks left of 2019. Why not resolve now. Lead the way. Recommit to you. To your health and well-being, to all that you might aspire to do and create in your life. To help another. To make this world a better place by your existence.

I read a social media post this week that really resonated with me. It reminded me of all the beautiful holiday memories I have, none of which I associate with gifts under a tree—whether I was giving or receiving. It was about the experiences and still is. When I was a child, it was driving around with my family looking at brightly decorated homes in our neighbourhood, going tobogganing, indulging in our favourite homemade treats made by my grandmother, and our home filled with music. Even from very humble beginnings, there was also always an acute awareness of others who had greater needs than ours, and that we all could do something to help. Not just during the holidays, but year-round. So, we did. And we still do.

For my family this year, there is a huge void where my father once was; we miss him greatly. It is said that grief is the price of love. We are so grateful for the memories, and we promise to ourselves we will make new ones in his honour. We are thankful for the years we had. We will pray for others who have lost loved ones too.

And I will make a little more time for comfort and sanctuary this season. I won’t try to figure it all out. I won’t be hard on myself if I don’t get the tree up. Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. Either way, it’s okay. Christmas is always in my heart. I will embrace a day at a time. Enjoy the moments with family. Hugs. Smiles. Laughter. Tears. Breaking bread. Counting blessings. Looking forward to the new year.

I give thanks for the wonderful friends and colleagues I have through my volunteer work at The Salvation Army York Housing and Support Services (Belinda’s Place, Sutton Youth, and Durham Housing Retention), the meaningful Portraits of Giving project we have sponsored for five years now, and our Hearts Linked by Courage friends and partners.

I admire all the amazing individuals we get to collaborate with every day at I C Publishing, especially our authors who share their passion and expertise to make this world a better place. For your reading pleasure, I invite you to peruse the I C Bookstore. Pour a warm beverage and enjoy yourself. We’ve included lots of great info, and many of our authors also have a direct link to a current blog or newsletter they write. They will enrich your life like they have mine.

In closing, I ponder on what 2020 might hold. New memories to make. Our individual and collective legacies. A brand new year and decade, a new chapter. What about you?

There is still magic in the world. You. Me. Us.

Remain present-minded in everything you do . . . Share your story and your light to lift others. Live with no regrets. Seek comfort when you need it. Give that refuge to another too.

Wishing you deep joy, beautiful conversation, and precious memories this holiday season.

And blessed health, happiness, and prosperity in 2020!

Warmest regards,

Sheri Andrunyk

Sheri Andrunyk ©2019

Publisher, Senior Writer, Mentor, Author

Founder of the Hearts Linked by Courage Project

I C Publishing & Consulting / I C Bookstore

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