Holidays inevitably call up fond childhood memories of simpler times; for me, it was growing up in the 1970s, which always found troops of neighborhood kids outside playing in the snow. We built igloos and tunnels into and through the monstrous snow piles created by the plows, played street ice hockey and took running starts sledding down the street. We constantly prayed that our parents would let us stay out just a little longer despite the descending dusk.
Do you remember talking to a next-door playmate via two cans attached by a string hung between your bedroom windows? Today that innocent childhood pleasure has mostly been replaced by FaceTime videoconferences on iPhones and PCs cameras. Instead of roaming the neighborhood shouting for friends to come out and play, kids now pile into minivans to race off to one practice or another. Pickup street hockey seems a thing of the past, replaced with simulated sports on TV game screens using what are euphemistically dubbed joysticks.
Holidays also inevitably turn our focus to what is most important in life, sharing special moments with family and friends and reaching out to bless strangers. We sense the mounting feelings of generosity and compassion in the air and wait for them to catch us up in the holiday spirit.
This month’s feature article, Do Good, Feel Good, by Lisa Marshall, sheds light on the intriguing and well-documented helping – health – happiness connection. Researchers continue to explore how a helping motive may actually improve our emotional and physical health. We do know how it just plain feels good to make someone else smile.
In keeping with this theme, we offer Wayne Dyer’s “Five Intentions for the New Year,” on page ???. These doable daily practices help us all move our thoughts and actions Spiritward.
If you’re spreading good cheer by hosting gatherings of friends and family, you’ll want to sample the recipes in our Conscious Eating department, where Chef Renée Loux serves up fun party foods and hosting tips. Check out page ??? as you plan your next event.
As for me, this month’s cover image captures the essence of all the goodness the Natural Awakenings family wishes for you and yours this holiday season. We’ve done our best to add to your cheer; let us know how shared ideas and tips added to your festivities and how you added your own touches.
Wishes for happy holidays and peace,
Maisie Raftery, Publisher