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Do you feel it?

I don’t want to sound like a mardy guy but do you feel it?

Every where I go and to everyone with whom I speak, the feeling is always present.

It’s the feeling of:

Mounting tension: hopefully by the time you read this the national election has been settled in a peaceful manner and that our democratic values have been upheld and accepted by all. Along with that issue, there’s the holiday season screaming down the calendar road directly at us.

Oh, the holidays! Folks are already feeling tension about not having the “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner or family gathering. Then, there’s Christmas and how are we going to celebrate that holiday if we can’t gather as family and friends?

Tension is increasing. The way through this tense time is to be safety minded and to be aware of events that might, even if it’s just, might, cause more tension within us. Let’s cool it this year. Tradition might have to be set aside this time — think how you/we can celebrate in an unusual manner and perhaps, that will ease some of the tension.

Along with tension, comes the need to “do”: you know this is true, right? We need to do holiday cards, do shopping for food and gifts, do traveling, do gift wrapping, do, do, do. Maybe we need to think about “don’t” this year.

Don’t do the big event at Thanksgiving, don’t do the big gathering at Christmas, don’t do shopping when there are crowds of people, don’t get hyped up about having to do all the traditional do’s. Think about how you can, once again, do things in a new way with more safety built into them.

It’s so easy to get frustrated: we get frustrated because of the holidays. We can’t celebrate like we always have celebrated them, we don’t know how we can change things, we need to accomplish so much in so little time, we get frustrated with ourselves.

If the holiday season is about family and friends celebrating, then, let’s do it with love in our hearts. Let’s understand love transcends distances and with the technology available to us today, we can see and hear each other safely. No, it’s not the same as being together in person but, love tells us to look out for each other.

If the holiday season is about giving, then give by letting go. Release some tension and frustration by doing the right thing and give! Give of yourself to help someone, give of your resources to a charity, give your presence to a person who could use some real (if possible) or virtual company.

If the holiday season is about hope, then put your hope — not just those who think like you, look like you, sound like you or come from the same place you inherited through birth. Find a new way to put hope into action.

If the holiday season is about faith, then put your faith into something that builds happiness and warmth. Trust me here — when you put faith into action, good things happen and you will feel the warmth of faith.

I expect by now you’re wondering where beverages enter into all this rhetoric. Well, sometimes we don’t need specifics but generalities to help us see things differently. For instance…

The holiday season is not going to be our usual holiday season so accept that difference and embrace a new wine. It’s very easy to always order a chardonnay but maybe, this year, go outside your traditional box and have a Cocobon Dark Blend and enjoy the luxurious layers of chocolate and spice.

If your tense, frustrated and have too many things to do, stop for awhile with a glass of Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewürztraminer — a wonderful slightly sweet white wine. Let the gentleness of the wine massage away your tension, frustration and your way-too-many to do’s.

If you’re being guided by the hope of the season, then try a bottle of Ménage á Trois Zinfandel and seek the deep cherry flavors and the wonderful vanilla finish. This just might be the bottle of flavors you’d hoped to find for a long time.

Set tradition aside this year and reach out in peace and safety to others — it’s not about you, it’s about those in your life.

Yes, we are used to getting hyper tense this time of the year but we can change for the good of all. Let’s show love by sharing (A bottle of wine is always a good way to share!), by giving and having the hope that by doing so, we’ll find the happiness and warmth that comes from the simple act of love.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!

Cheers!

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