Christmas is about giving from the heart and has gradually mutated into giving from the wallet.  So often we get caught up on what the meaning of giving is truly about.  It’s about thinking about the other person and what we can do to brighten their day.  To look at someone else, truly look at THEM, and offer of ourselves something that has meaning and love.

This year I challenge each and every one of you to give from the heart.  This does not mean giving items, boxes, bobbles and wrapped gifts.  It means giving of your time, your love, your compassion and your heart to someone who needs that more than any store bought gift you could purchase.

This time of year may be the very hardest for those with PTSD. They are surrounded with lights and sounds, drinking and loud festive cheers.  Some during their battle have isolated themselves from friends and family – here is a chance to reach out and say that you are never alone.  No matter what has happened in the past, today and always we welcome you with open arms.

To those who work throughout the holidays to keep our streets and community safe, accidents and incidents can hit the hardest.  Past incidents come back to haunt us during holidays and during Christmas this may be especially trying.  What does it mean to someone who has seen the worst last Christmas but is expected to appear joyous today?  It may mean putting on a front to ensure the happiness of others while inside they are struggling.  Let them know that every day they are loved and welcomed to share their feelings – open and honest communication has not holidays or days off.

For those deployed and away from their homes, celebrating in a strange land can be both exotic and lonely.  The families also feel this loss at their tables.  Reach out to all of them with emails, text messages and let them know they are never forgotten.    Let each one know they are appreciated and when they come home, we will be waiting there for them.

PTSD does not take a day off nor does it respect the holidays.  Instead it rears its ugly head up and screams louder than before to ensure you take notice amidst the happiness surrounding you.  Today is the day to scream back and be heard – let friends and family know that you are hurting, you may need some quiet time, you are in need a listening ear or just a shoulder to lean on.  PTSD does not take a day off but neither does LOVE, COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING …. Here is our gift to you.  You are NEVER alone – reach out.

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