On December 25, 2017, I was sitting at my parents’ dining room table with a huge stack of holiday cards. My dad was in charge of stamps and sealing envelopes. Despite her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, my mom was handling the return address labels, every so often commenting with delight, “look, there’s your name!”

Granted my family is Jewish and we were not missing a holiday celebration, but this was not how I had intended to spend the visit. It might sound as if I had been procrastinating on this task, but that was not entirely the case. My assistant helped me to order cards well ahead of the holiday, edit the mailing list, and print the address and return labels. We spent several long sessions at my dining room table with me writing the notes while he handled the rest of the mailing process. But despite our hard work, there were still a number of cards left to go.

When I started coaching by telephone in the early 2000s, I loved picking out beautiful cards to wish my clients happy holidays. I’ve always been incredibly grateful to the smart, creative, and dedicated people who trust me with the details of their work and home lives, and since I don’t get to meet most of my clients face-to-face, I liked the idea of sending people something they could see and touch. But over the years the list of people who have touched my life has grown much longer.

As I reflected on the process coming into these holidays, I realized that if I were coaching anyone else, I would suggest that there may be ways to convey appreciation and gratitude without turning one’s elderly parents into greeting card assembly line workers. With that in mind, I will do my best to imbue this year’s e-card with all of the warmth and appreciation I feel for those who will receive it. And in the same spirit, I invite you to consider what you can do to have a holiday season that is both joyous and balanced.

Wishing you happy holidays and all the best in 2019!

Warmly, Rena