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December to Remember – What’s really important this time of year

Dog with bow on forehead

Ah, the holiday season! Lights are going up on the house. Lights are going up in the house. Lists are being made and checked twice. The hustle and bustle is alive and well and silver bells let us know that it’s Christmas time in the city. What’s not to love about the holiday season?

Well, let’s remember that not all folks are overly excited about the holidays. For some, the loss of loved ones can make the holidays a memory that some don’t want to celebrate. We have all lost someone in our lives, be it a family member, friend or mentor – here are some ways to make sure that you are spreading holiday cheer that most everyone can respect:

1. Volunteer. There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to donate your time. This time of year, many organizations are looking for help in this space. From food banks to toy tot drives, find an organization that tugs on your heart strings and give them a helping hand this season.

2. Phone a friend. Keep those in mind who may not have a large extended family. Invite them over for a meal. Have a happy hour that brings together a new group. No one truly wants to be alone during the holidays so think of that neighbor or a distant acquaintance who may be looking for an invitation to gather.

3. Acts of kindness. Every year, I always make it a point to buy a meal for a car that is behind me in the drive through line. For me, it’s the fact knowing that I did something nice for someone who will actually never know who I am. Choose your appropriate pathway and execute. If only this mindset would continue on strong throughout the entire year!

4. Go caroling. While my voice sounds like a washed up boy band wannabe, there’s something about belting out holiday tunes that brings a smile to all (ok, maybe not all). But, the fact that you have gathered a mix of folks to hit the road in the neighborhood or at your favorite retail outlet, will at least garner a few looks. Who knows – maybe you’ll inspire a chuckle or be offered a spot on The Voice. You can do it!

Do your part this holiday season. Following this list will at least bring your holiday spirit higher. On a personal note, every year around Christmas, Team Hendricks makes the trek back to the Dallas area to be with my side of the family. It’s always great to see my extended family that we don’t see all that often being in Austin. It also is a very difficult time for me personally. My wife and I along with the boys stop by for a memorial for my sister, Mom and Dad, near Carrollton, TX (my hometown). Oh, how I wish they were here, not only this time of year but every day. Please remember that we all are on this journey together – make this holiday season great for everyone!

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