There is something incredible about being in community with others. Don’t believe me? Scan Facebook. You will see endless posts about time spent with families and friends over the holidays – cooking, traveling, shopping, watching football games, laughing. Even extroverts like me need some solitude, but hands down, connecting with others is the better deal.

It has been a great Christmas season for my family. We hosted an office party with co-workers, sang many Christmas services with friends from our church choir, had about 25 family over on Christmas day, had dinner downtown with friends we’ve known for over 30 years who happened to be in town – and of course, I’ve walked our dogs regularly to look for an excuse to chat with neighbors. I need people. And I’m convinced I’m not the only one.

I firmly believe we are not meant to be alone. Looking for a good New Year’s Resolution? Reach outside your circle and find ways to include individuals who might not have a strong community of support. We all know co-workers, neighbors, school families and others who fall into this category. Making a connection with them would be a simple way to extend the holiday season of goodwill beyond the holiday itself.

My son and his wife descended on us for a few days – and they brought their pups. Of course, by pups I mean huge dogs. So in total we had five dogs running around our house – sticking closely together – travelling in one pack. Even Sophie, our sweet Schnauzer, who just had surgery kept up with them. I’m convinced she leaned on the other dogs for support. Go figure.

Happy Holidays.