The Important Things During the Holidays


Contributing Writer
Jeffrey Barkstrom

In the rush to get the best deals and presents for everyone, I find it important to take a deep breath and remember what the holidays are all about. For me, the holidays are a time for reflection on all the things that I am thankful for and remember those who are less lucky than me.
I have to remind myself that we are living in one of the greatest moments of history. Civilization has advanced to the point that we can have as much food as we want. No one has to starve and most people have excess amounts of food for the first time in history.
Instead of working, we are entertained by our phones, tablets and computers, but we have lost our connection to each other and no, facebook doesn’t count. I recently got to visit a developing country. They had no cell phones, tv’s or tablets. They traveled by horse and buggy. What they did have was each other. They were very warm and everyone was out on the streets talking to each other. People hugged and kissed, and they said hi to each other.
Now, possession wise these people were much worse off than we are, but in spirit, they were much richer. They still cared and talked to each other.
So I am proposing that we give the greatest gift to our friends, family and the less fortunate this Christmas season. We give the gift of our time and our attention.
How do we do this? We can volunteer to pass out food. We can visit the sick and house bound. We can set down our phones and tablets and talk with our family. We can cook a nice meal for friends. We can invite someone over that has no place to go.
If you decide to take up this challenge, please let us know what you did and experienced. Giving of our selves is often the best gift that we give to ourself. You can send your comments to Have a Happy Holiday!

Jeffrey Barkstrom has been helping people with health and weight loss issues for more than 12 years. He has spoken at colleges, businesses, non-profits, national conferences and on television about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. He currently practices at Barkstrom Acupuncture PC, Natural Health Improvement Center in Jamestown, NY. Learn more at or at