Catholic Charities Offers Five Ideas on How to Slow Down and Enjoy the Holidays

Dec. 1, 2013

Ready or not the holiday season has arrived, and for many of us it can be an overwhelming time of year filled with unwanted stress. How can you minimize the chaos and simply enjoy the little holiday moments filled with cheer?

According to Catholic Charities’ behavioral health counselors, there are five things you need to remember when it comes to surviving the holidays.

1. Find the balance.
Decorating, parties and gift-giving are all part of the fun; enjoy, but in moderation. Don’t celebrate yourself into debt!

2. Learn from Ebenezer.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a man for our times. Shake off the temptation of greed and use this special time of year to do some good for others.

3. Heal the wounds.
Family members sometimes hurt one another, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Recognize that the past is done. Don’t wait for others to come to you to heal a situation. Take the first step to dialogue, listen, admit mistakes and maybe even forgive. Write a new page, while there is still time.

4. Be realistic.
Recognize that things outside of our control will happen during the holidays and therefore they won’t necessarily be the best days of the entire year. Set realistic expectations and let them be what they are. Focus on what you can control: your thinking about the holidays.

5. Dare to be counter-cultural.
Make a conscious decision to avoid some of the holiday chaos. Turn off the lights and cut the noise. Light a candle. Take a walk on a cold, crisp winter night. It is in the quiet stillness of our hearts that serenity is born.

These five tips are part of a new “That Moment When…” campaign being launched at Catholic Charities this week. The purpose of the campaign is to show how Catholic Charities was there to help others during stressful, if not devastating, moments in their lives when pain and fear had them feeling like their world was falling apart.

Fr. Dave Bergner, the executive director of Catholic Charities, says, “In 2012 Catholic Charities delivered millions of moments of hope to 23,438 people of all faiths in the 10 counties of southeastern Wisconsin. Counseling services throughout this area added up to 1.3 million minutes or 22,880 hours in 2012.

“These are people needing crisis pregnancy counseling and adoption support, refugee families starting with nothing in America, people needing help finding new jobs and people in need of mental health counseling or case management. We bring hope to the poor, the frail and the vulnerable. That hope then ripples out to their families, co-workers and communities.”

As part of the “That Moment When…” campaign, Catholic Charities is encouraging people to visit a special Catholic Charities web page at to donate or share how they were positively impacted by Catholic Charities. Supporters can also text donations by dialing 85944 and texting “Moment” to make a $10 donation that is added to their cell
phone bill.

“There are many wonderful stories of hope because of what we do every single day,” adds Bergner. “We want people to be able to read firsthand about the good that we do.”

The “That Moment When…” campaign is an extension of last year’s “Make a Ripple” campaign which raised more than $200,000 to help those less fortunate. Catholic Charities’ Behavioral Health/Counseling Program recognizes the correlated challenges of poverty and mental health, so provides services on a sliding-fee scale to remove potential financial barriers and increase access to mental health services. Catholic Charities’ licensed therapists provided 1,372,800 minutes of counseling to people of all faiths throughout the 10 counties of southeastern Wisconsin in 2012. Catholic Charities has been serving people of all faiths in southeastern Wisconsin
since 1920.

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