The best parts of the holidays involve people loving other people.

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us once again! The smell of fresh pine, the warmth of stoked fires, the holiday cheer in the air, and the festive music played in nearly every business are all traits of this wonderful season. The holidays are a classic time for families and friends to come together to celebrate, create memories, and relax after a long year. Whatever your religion or beliefs, this season remains a cheerful time for everyone.

The holidays are especially valuable to the GenTwenty team as we review our progress over the past year. It’s this time in the season that we can reflect on stats, targeted goals we met, and possible goals we can consider setting for our team in the New Year. In short, the holidays remind us to be thankful for all that’s happened so far, and for all that’s still to come.

Here are five reasons why the holidays are the best time of year:

1. People are cheerful and thankful.

Most everyone is in high spirits this time of year. Unless you’re a Grinch or a Scrooge, the holidays mean something to you. This is the season of giving thanks, giving back, and spreading cheer. It’s a time of year when everyone can put their differences aside and embrace the holiday spirit.

It’s all about making memories, appreciating family and friends, and indulging in good food and company. The holidays often bring out the best in us, and it’s a feeling most everyone clings to.

2. People give back.

The holidays are a classic time to give back to your community and support charities you believe in. This is the season where everyone could use a little “extra”, whether it’s in the form of donating money, clothing, winter gear, or simply appreciation.

Consider donating to a charity in need this holiday season to spread the holiday love. A great way to find a charity near you is to use the Charity Navigator. This tool allows you to search for charities in specific zip codes to donate canned goods, clothing, money, etc. Spread joy!

If you’re shopping at Amazon, shop through smile.amazon.com to donate to a charity of your choice!

3. People volunteer.

Have you ever considered volunteering your time to help others? Maybe you’re well experienced in participating in volunteer events in your local community. Whichever the case, volunteering is a BIG deal this time of year. Think about how much it means when people spend time with others in hospice care or assisted living homes.

Consider the value you could bring to working as a volunteer in your town’s soup kitchen, animal shelters, or orphanages. There are some people who don’t have family nearby, or at all, who could benefit from your company.

Volunteer Match is an organization that can help connect you with holiday volunteer opportunities. Consider volunteering your time this season to do good work and to spread the cheer.

4. People are thoughtful.

The holidays are not about “stuff”, but rather “meaning.” It means so much that good work is recognized, people are appreciated, and memories are not taken for granted. When you think about buying gifts for the people on your list, remember to focus less on “things” and more on “meanings.”

For example, rather than buying someone a video game, consider making a movie with filmed home videos on it. Watching old memories come to life on screen is bound to make your gift more meaningful. Similarly, rather than investing in a book, think about making your own storybook with pictures.

Great companies like Vistaprint and Shutterfly allow you to upload photos to create mugs, albums, calendars, and the like. These make fantastic gifts for others, that will definitely capture your thoughtful gift-giving skills.

5. People reflect.

At the end of the year with the holidays in full blast, what most people do is reflect. They reflect on the past year and how it compares to years before. They think about the goals they set in January and assess whether they were achieved by the end of December. People look forward to the New Year and plan goals for what’s still to come.

Reflection is an absolutely important skill to master. Reflect on how your life has changed this year. Think about the good, the bad, and everything in between. Are you a happier person than you were a year ago? Have you progressed in your education, profession, family, and/or finances? Assess what’s most important to you in life and reflect to see if your goals are happening in reality. Reflecting during the holidays is a valuable habit.

Consider making it part of your holiday routine to see if you’re being your best self!

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The holiday season offers us so much. Whether it’s gifts, appreciation, company, or cheer, we all benefit from the way this season makes us feel. To us, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Think about what makes the holidays so special to you and share them in the comments below!

Happy holidays!