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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

December Letter From The Publisher

Each year at this time I like to contemplate how well I am doing with my aspirations. Did I take that qigong class? Did I kayak the Pinelands this summer? Have I set aside moments to feel nurtured and inspired by the activities I chose to participate in? I find that such reevaluation enables me to better appreciate the daily gift that is life. Like pausing to smell the roses, the art of plucking simple pleasures out of daily routines can make rewarding gifts to yourself.

What about giving similar joys to others this holiday season? The December issue of Natural Awakenings shows us how conscious giving can bring memorable rewards of health and well-being to all. Beth Davis’ tips for “Meaningful Giving” and Lisa Marshall’s feature article, “Do Good, Feel Good:  The Helping – Health – Happiness Connection” present welcome alternatives to another trip to the mall to buy things that people don’t need.

Forget inferior, mass produced plastic and synthetic stuff that only consumes precious resources. The yard sales of tomorrow are already well stocked with careless purchases. The cost to the Earth and our psyches is far higher than the credit card bill.

How refreshing to call on our innate generosity in ways that truly benefit the receiver and make us feel good too! The kind of gifting found at can go on all year with joyful results. What would happen if our daily question becomes: “What can I give away today?” Maybe it costs a bit of cash sometimes, but most often it will involve volunteering time and good will, as simple as a warm smile or praise and acknowledgment of another’s service. Such a win-win makes every day a holy day.

I plan to treat myself to a family gathering this month. I love spending time with loved ones, sharing good times and creating happy memories.

It seems like only yesterday Dad asked me, “Do you need help?” He had sensed my frustration in trying to assemble a race track on Christmas Eve for my two young sons. The fact that the pieces were not well made didn’t help. We struggled for hours, discussed enclosed plans written in a foreign country, applied tape and rigged everything the best we could. Our eyes were a bit blurry the next morning, but we smiled at each other as we watched the boys eagerly dive in to see what Santa brought. Although Dad is no longer with us physically, the loving memory we made together will be part of my holidays forever.

May you have memory making holidays that light up every new year,

Don Moore, Publisher

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