Family enjoying Christmas.
Enjoying Christmas.

The Semafores team would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas. Our hope for you is for a safe and happy holiday in the company of friends and loved ones, and for a day of joy, peace, and ease. Our sorrow is that we know that our wish will not come true for everyone.

If you are one of the lucky many who have a joyful holiday this year, we would like you to take a moment sometime in your day to remember those who might not be having a merry Christmas. First, consider the caregivers who do not have the opportunity to celebrate. The work they do is needed every day, never more than on a holiday. Whether they are dedicated professionals, or family caregivers providing care for their own loved ones, they may be busy on Christmas. If you have a chance, reach out to the caregivers you know and to tell them how much you appreciate what they do. If you are capable, you might consider stepping in and taking over for a family caregiver for a while. The respite you provide might give her a chance to celebrate with family, or perhaps just a chance to get some needed rest. Either way, the gift of your time may be one of the best gifts she gets this year.

Also remember the people who are suffering in ways that prevent them from enjoying the holidays. Depression in particular is often exacerbated by the holiday season. If you know people who suffer from depression and want to help, you can find some good advice in this article from psychcentral.com. The most important thing you can do is to be there to listen to them. An invitation to spend time with you, or a phone call to remind someone that you care, might mean a lot and do some good.

Helping people who are in need is an important tradition of the Christmas season, as many of the seasonal stories we see on our televisions every year remind us. Often that means giving money to charity, or donating material things for help the needy, but it can be even better to help in a more personal way. Giving some time to help a family caregiver or offering an ear to a depressed friend provides you with the chance to help in a way that lets you see the good you do, and that can bring you joy at the same time it brightens the holiday for the person you help.