Today I am grateful for family emails and for my own family and our holiday traditions and time together.

JOVIAL seemed like a fitting word for Christmas. Of course Santa comes to mind. But there seems to be plenty of good cheer in plenty of places this time of the year.

Cheerful and friendly, sociable and outgoing, good-natured, amiable, jolly. If you are celebrating Christmas, maybe you are also considering a jovial Jesus. I don't know that I have ever heard that word used to describe Jesus, but consider the stories told of this Messiah, and the words listed above do seem to fit.

There's the flip side though. People feeling anything but jovial because of holiday stress, tough times, health concerns, grief. I don't know about you, but when I feel low a jovial person is almost too hard to be around. I can't make someone else happy and I can't take away someone else's pain, but I can be helpful and compassionate.

Being present and mindful, including a grateful mindset, helps me tune in to how I am feeling, and also how others may be feeling. I can be more considerate when I am more aware.

I wouldn't have described myself as jovial for most of my life, but I think it fits me at least some of the time. More importantly, my spirit is jovial more often and that makes a difference.

I will be taking a blog break again. See you next week. I close with holiday greetings, and a wish that we carry a jovial spirit with us throughout the year.