Editorial Thoughts


Michele Pesula Kuegler is the founder of PeKu Publications and chief foodie at Think Tasty. She runs this one-woman show focusing on creating new recipes to delight her family, friends, and herself.

Finding Joy by Bringing it to Others

by Michele Pesula Kuegler on December 23rd, 2020
Yes, it’s the smallest Christmas tree I’ve ever had, but it still makes me smile.

It’s the holiday season, which is my favorite time of year. In the past I’ve written about my love of all things December. However, 2020 has had a nice way of putting a damper on some of that excitement.

As an empty nester with four adult children in their own homes and my husband and I in a short-term rental, I knew that Christmas would be different this year. I was fine with not having our usual decorations nor having the kids come home. We planned on traveling to Phoenix to celebrate the holidays with three of our four children. Then Covid decided to turn the world upside down.

I dragged my feet on cancelling our plans. My gut told me that it was the right thing to do, but my heart wanted to wait. In late November, I decided to treat this like a bandage- pull it off quickly. I talked with our kids and let them know we wouldn’t be coming and went about canceling all of our reservations.

Then I felt sad.

However, I don’t like moping. Why wallow when in reality I am actually very fortunate? We are all healthy and employed. The kids are self-sufficient and happy. My husband and I are together and discovering a new place that will be home. Sure, Christmas will be different, but that is temporary. Never mind that so many people are experiencing this; my pain was not special nor excruciating.

Rather than feel sorry for myself, I decided to try and bring joy to other people, which in turn would make me feel happy.

  1. As a food blogger, I try to bring happiness via cooking. For the month of December, I’ve shared a cookie recipe from Think Tasty each day as a way to hopefully inspire someone else.
  2. As the Director of Community at Wasabi Ventures Stables I am adding cheer by randomly awarding a prize to a club member every day.
  3. At home, I have created an advent calendar for my husband and me. Sure, the countdown to Christmas Day feels different, but it’s nice to give each day a little something to look forward to.
  4. At the grocery store, whenever my husband or I shop, each of us buys a $10 store gift card and give it to the clerk to help pay for the next person in line.

When I do any of these things, I get a wonderful feeling of joy. Doing something for someone else, no matter how small, makes my heart feel a little bit fuller.

No, Christmas this year won’t be typical, but I’m glad to say it will be filled with joy and love. Here’s to 2021 when the world is healthier, and I get to spend time with my family again!


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