Holiday Spirit Runs Deep

Larry Taylor and our OHI Missionaries

Something magical happens this time of year, as a moving story from World War I dramatically illustrates. The date was December 24, 1914. The place was The Western Front. After months of fierce fighting, British and German soldiers spontaneously came together that Christmas Eve. Cautiously at first, then with enthusiasm, the men on both sides of the global conflict ceased fire, and crawled out from their foxholes.

The unlikely comrades lit candles and sang Christmas carols to each other; they shared cookies, cakes and drinks their loved ones had sent, they even gave each other little gifts. That holiday spirit continued throughout Christmas Day, with more carols, laughter and even an impromptu football game. Blurry sepia-print photos captured the camaraderie and good will of the unofficial and very brief cease-fire.

The holiday season can bring out the best in people. There’s a universal focus on giving, connecting with family and old friends, and feeling gratitude for the many blessings in your life. When people who don’t have family nearby can’t make a trip back “home,” they will likely be invited to join a friend’s family celebration.

This desire to come together and share with others transcends boundaries of religion, nationality, race, age and gender. It’s a spiritual energy of open-heartedness, charity and optimism that sweeps everyone into its embrace.

While an outpouring of compassion is a lovely aspect of the holiday season, you have a great opportunity to keep that spirit of gratitude and generosity going all year long.

Frequently, there are more offers to volunteer services than volunteer opportunities. Perhaps this is the year to start a new tradition. Consider committing to volunteering quarterly, or even monthly at one of those organizations that has too many volunteers to use during the holidays.

Non-profit organizations report that donations are 80% larger during the holidays. End-of-year financial gifts are certainly appreciated, yet the needs the charities are addressing extend throughout the year. Scientific research has documented how philanthropic acts actually benefit the giver, too, creating a “Helper’s High.” This creates measurable improvements in the giver’s sense of well-being, stress levels, physical and emotional health, sense of purpose and happiness. Weigh the benefits of spreading donations throughout the year, and getting that boost that compassionate action brings.

You’ll be able to boost your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health with a holiday stay at the Optimum Health Institute (OHI). In beautifully landscaped settings designed to promote feelings of serenity, contentment and renewal, our missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas, will share the tools to help you achieve and maintain optimal health. Our caring team creates a safe space for transformation while also celebrating the season. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.

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