Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their own suffering. Some suffer too much, some too little.
This is the time of year that is a great source of stress for many. The holidays bring with them mixed feelings. Some are overjoyed at what this time of year brings, while others carry the burden of trying to figure out what they are going to do to try and have or give a happy holiday, if they are in dire emotional or financial straits.
When we are feeling the stress associated with the holidays, especially the financial strain of trying to juggle bills with providing "things" to all who are expecting them, we tend to hold resentments. I know from either personal experience or through observance that we especially resent those who have "more" than we do. Those that can breeze through the holiday season seemingly without a care in the world can be a great source of contention for some. Those that tend to appear to have all they need to perform all their duties this holiday season with ease, comfort and joy, while the rest of us struggle to figure out a way to make ends meet. In this situation it is best to calm our worries and remember that, despite what appears to be true, what your perceptions are, everyone has their own set of struggles.
The more you resent someone, for whatever reason, the more suffering you bring upon yourself. While it may be true that some certainly struggle less intensely than others, it is not our job to decide who deserves what. Only we can control our own suffering. Holding on to resentments will only add to that suffering, whereas practicing the art of "letting go" and reserving our judgments will keep us free of heartache, as we won't be comparing 'ours' with 'theirs'.
Just focus on what you can do this season, whatever your traditions are. I'm sure you really want this time of year to be about connecting with family (in a good way...), enjoying all the things you only get to do once a year, focusing on and reconnecting with what this time of year means to you and your belief system/religion so that you can, hopefully, carry it with you all through the year. And, of course, gift giving.
Sharing with others those special tokens of your love and appreciation for them, whether it's your time and attention, your help, or something handmade or store-bought, is what we all look forward to this time of year. It's not about the size of the item, but the size of your heart.
Open it to others this year. Really try to see them as individuals, just like you, trying to get through this season that can often be trying and confusing, when it doesn't need to be. Be the example you want to see from someone else. When you are out in the hustle and bustle, be kind, considerate, loving even. Show them that this is the time of year to actually slow down, not speed up, and really notice the joy around you. I think by now you have figured out that I strongly believe that our actions have the power to trigger chain reactions, good or bad.
Contribute to the good. You will, undoubtedly, change someone's day. That's the greatest gift of all.
Have a wonderful weekend.