The Greatest Gift

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

The Greatest Gift


The Greatest Gift

December 15, 2021

It’s the holiday season and if you’re like me, you’re around a lot of family this time of year. As a psychologist, I hear about all the burdens that families bring over the holidays – such as people bringing their dogs to an event without asking permission, grandparents micromanaging the grandkids & couples not standing up for each other at family events.

I was originally going to talk about how to cope with the burdens but my perspective changed after I received the most striking and profound message from my father about the challenges he faces over the holidays. He said that every Christmas Eve, him and my mother try to create an event where everyone is happy and entertained so the family wants to come back every year. I was blown away because I realized how selfish and unappreciative I’ve been about the sacrifice that my parents have been making over the years to host such a special event for our family. They’ve been giving me the greatest gift every year – the gift of time & celebration. 

If 2021 taught me anything, it’s that time and celebration are not promised – especially with our loved ones. They aren’t going to be around forever so we have to be intentional with our time and appreciate every moment we’re given – whether that be at holiday parties with family, friends or at work events.

Whoever is hosting you over the holidays has sacrificed so much in preparation for the event and all they are hoping for is that you have the best time. This holiday season, I challenge you to give the greatest gift to your host – the gift of appreciation. I want you to be bold, be helpful and show your appreciation by having a great time.