I love the holiday season. I have always loved the holiday season. For me, it’s all about the favorite foods, time with family, winter fun, and joyful memories. All those cheesy holiday Hallmark moments have grown exponentially now that I have a little one. However, there is one very distinct thing about this season I try to be aware of: The holidays are not the “most wonderful time of the year” for all.

The insurmountable pressure extends itself in many forms: Being the host for the holiday dinners, parties, and gatherings. The expenses that go along with it. Making the tough decision to forgo it all and stay home instead. Traveling to see others, dealing with traffic, delays, and those last-minute changes in plans. Expectations are higher than ever.

There are also things like job losses and budget cuts heading into the new year, and most don’t seem to talk about that. For others, it’s the burden of having to work through — and on — the holidays. I used to experience this during my days as a bartender and while working in the hospitality world, where weekly coping turned into daily “let’s just get through this.” 

Some of the holiday pressure comes in the form of parental and familial expectations placed upon us, and the “reason for the season” seems to be lost on so many along the way.

Yet it is still a time of joy and laughter. A time of illuminated joy for so many. We donate more. We are showing kindness a little more often. We remember those who are oft forgotten and try to include them (as they should be year round). This increase in love and charity during the holiday season deserves more of our focus. 

No, November and December aren’t the only months for these kind acts. Donate year round. Text that friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Be kind and pay it forward, simply to share the love. More often than not, we don’t know what someone else is going through. And the holidays shouldn’t be the only time we walk a mile in someone else’s “Christmas Shoes.”

So now that you’re humming that song, keep in mind everything about the holiday season that causes a tug at your heartstrings. Although the holidays are not the most wonderful time of the year for all, you can do your part to lift, love, and spread cheer to those around you.

Amber Michele
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Amber has lived in the Greater Boston area for double digits now. In previous years she spent her time commuting for auditions and SAG-AFTRA work between New York City and Boston. In May 2020, she became a mom to her daughter, who has kept her on her toes - and brings her joy ever since. Constantly on the lookout for "ways to elevate her every day," and yours too, she completed her yoga teacher training in 2021. An important reminder to find and create movement each and every day. Which is easy enough, with her love for - and a household full of music. From Biggie to Beethoven, to Billie Holiday and beyond, there's always sounds and dance parties to be had. Always keeping an eye out for creative adventures in and around New England, Amber will jump at any chance to visit the local farms to see the goats and simply be outdoors. Otherwise, she's often found by the window, calligraphy pen in hand, practicing her favorite craft. After enjoying a hiatus from the restaurant & hospitality industry while being a SAHM mom, Amber is currently working — and learning — in the world of tech. Amber will always hype: brunch and simply ALL food, dancing — even in the grocery store, travel and any chance to be at the beach. You can miss her with: cold wet weather (even though she was born in January?!) and horror movies. Look for more thoughts and musings from Amber at www.DivAmber.com.