At this time of year, we often find ourselves reflecting on our lives and the year's events along with our accomplishments and struggles.

But why do we reflect?

Perhaps it is so we can set some new goals for the upcoming year or even to make sure we don't repeat some mistakes. Whatever the reason may be, reflecting can be a great way to acknowledge where your life has been, where it is going, and where the areas are where you would like to make some changes or improvements.

But the holiday season also is about the present and spending time with loved ones. Christmas is just around the corner and it is a great time to appreciate the fact that we are blessed to be able to celebrate with our family, recognizing there are some who may not be as blessed this year.

Some family members may be overseas protecting our country and as a result may not be able to celebrate the Christmas season this year with their family. Others may have family members who are sick or in the hospital. Others may be separated by states, countries or job restrictions that won't allow them to spend time with their family this year.

If you are blessed to be able to spend Christmas with each and every one of your family members this year, cherish every moment of it. Spend every second making yummy holiday treats, singing carols together by the warm fire, wrapping presents for each other and, overall, creating wonderful memories. For memories are the greatest gift anyone can ever give or receive, and gifts such as memories are guaranteed to last forever.

Enjoy the holiday season this year with you and your family. Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle "Mikey" Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice; however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at or

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