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Barnabas Center
Barnabas Center

Finding Joy in the Present by Suzanne N. Stangland MA, LPC

As Christmas time approaches, so do all the feelings that come with it.  It is commonplace to be both excited and overwhelmed with the holiday. Families love to plan for that big get-together, parents look for the best gift, and children anticipate Christmas morning, possibly more than their own birthday celebrations.

This suggests that we spend quite a bit of time during the holidays looking forward to the next party to attend or thinking about which presents to buy.

What would it be like if we work toward making this Christmas a time that we find that joy in the time at hand—the present?

During your daily routine, what are the things, people or circumstances that warm your heart in ways it is difficult to articulate? Is it the children running to the door to greet you or the little note your spouse sent you reminding you they love you or is it the dog wagging his tail profusely the second you grab the leash for a walk?  These are the small and yet significant things that make up the present.  And they are the things that,

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Comparison: The Thief of Thankfulness By Bill Immel, LPC

During the holidays it is often tempting to think upon our lives in comparison with the lives of others.  This can happen at church, at work, or when visiting friends and family. In my experience counseling people from all walks of life, this happens probably the most on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. 

Typically the way it works is that we see others with less whatever (ie home, cars, family, toys, friends, trips, health, even looks, etc) and we feel better. Then we see others with more of the above and we feel worse and all of a sudden less thankful. 

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