It is Christmas Eve and I am so happy to be surrounded by family this holiday season. My sisters and I haven’t been together for Christmas in over ten years so this year is extra special. Add my nieces and nephews and the holiday spirit is definitely upon me.

Yet, as I am sure you may be experiecing, being with family brings up all those ‘family issues.’ My little sister the baby…my older sister the neat freak…and me, the middle girl who tries to keep the peace. We all have different styles and different agendas for what constitutes the perfect holiday vacation. But, as I remind them (and don’t they love that) we just must stay true to our intention: love.

As I’m typing away my sisters are in the major debate over the setting of the table. I look over at my little sister and give her the silent ‘let it go’ look. Because we are, in fact, in my older sister’s home which makes this her time to shine. At the same time, my older sister is fighting back a migraine and trying to coordinate the order of who takes a shower when and how to manage the hot water. Nine people must get ready in time to eat our Christmas Eve feast served in one hour and timed to the minute that my brother-in-law is busily preparing.

Let’s just say the stress level is high if we do not remember to surrender to what is and enjoy the little things, the moments of togetherness that are so rare for us.

As always, I end every year listing 100 gratitudes for the year. Right now, I am grateful for the bickering because it means people care. I am so grateful for the effort each one of is exerting in order to get along. I am grateful that, for the most part, we have learned to give up being right and instead, choose happiness.

That is what I hope for you this holiday season: happiness.

For many of us happiness includes feeling loved. I hope this holiday season you know you are loved. We have all been loved in different ways yet unless we choose to notice, the moment could slip right by. Make your intention this holiday season to notice the smallest of kindness from family, friends and strangers alike. No kindness must go unnoticed because when we notice the little things, all of us will finally feel connected and loved. And that is a secret to happiness.

I invite you to list all the people in the past year who have showed you kindness. Did someone open a door when your hands were full? Did someone pick up the lunch check? Did someone smile at you for no apparent reason?

When I notice the love surrounding me, I have more courage to choose happiness. I dare you to do the same this holiday season.

May the spirit of the season infuse you with the light and love that prevails throughout the world.

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By Rhonda Britten

Rhonda, voted America’s Favorite Life Coach is here to help you get unstuck. “Everyone needs Fearless Living”- Oprah Winfrey With her acclaimed method called Fearless Living, Rhonda Britten has helped thousands of people let go of indecision, gain clarity of purpose, and take life-changing risks. Her work exposes the roots of fear and gives you the tools to move beyond that insidious universal feeling of “not being good enough.” The result is unstoppable confidence and a world of unlimited possibilities.

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