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Make holiday celebrations last all year

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Like with most holidays, many of us celebrate the day and then resume our normal everyday lives. But that is truly a missed opportunity. If it's worth celebrating, then its meaning should last beyond a day. A few examples are:

New Year's Day - That is often a time for renewal that culminates in a plethora of self improvement goals that don't last more than a few months. So instead, maybe once in a while commit to a goal for the next day to do something positive for someone else.

Martin Luther King Day - There are countless celebrations that focus on a service project, but he is most honored for his dream of racial equality. In respect to this example, make it a point and practice to strike up a conversation with someone who is different from you. There are countless opportunities as we stand in line at the grocery store, movie theatre, etc.

Valentine's Day is a day to show love. Now that is truly something that shouldn't be relegated to just one day! Give flowers or candy at the unlikeliest of times during the year.

Easter is a time of renewal, and for Christians, it is arguably the most important of all holidays. It celebrates the fundamental belief of Jesus' triumph over the grave, and the gift of eternal life to those who believe. Take a lesson from the Easter vigil where sadness is felt on Good Friday to the elation of on Easter Sunday. We all know or will know someone who grieves. Help them through the darkness by being there for them to listen, encourage and support.

Mother's Day and Father's Day - These are special days of remembrance to thank our mothers/material figures and fathers/paternal figures for all they have done for us. Say thank you on those days, but don't forget that calls and visits are appreciated during the other 364 days of the year.

Independence Day celebrates our freedom. Honor the sacrifices of those who made this possible by exercising your rights, especially to vote at every opportunity.

Labor Day recognizes the commitment to work. Do you know others who need a job? Help them create a professional resume, offer transportation to/from interviews, etc. Unemployment occurs year round.

Halloween is a time for fun. We can be anything we want. So maybe once a month try a different persona. Be the baker who takes cookies to the neighbors, play grocery clerk and help stock a food pantry for the needy, be a stenographer and write letters for those who cannot, or play an angel who works in a homeless shelter.

Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude. It's also a time to share the many blessings we acknowledge. Give to a food pantry regularly by purchasing at least one thing to donate during every shopping trip.

For most of us, Christmas is a time of joy and goodwill. It's one of the few times set aside to acknowledge our fellowman. Donate food, gifts, and take time to value others throughout the year.

Whatever you find worth celebrating, make it last. That simply makes our world a better place.

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