The holidays are celebrated, enjoyed, and loved by everyone, right? Actually, no, they are not. For many, the holidays are depressing, painful, lonely, and sad. Suicide occurrences usually escalate during the holly, jolly season. The most wonderful time of the year can cause broken hearts to break completely. How are the people around you handling it all? Have you asked them? Are you making sure to include them, or doing some small act of kindness to encourage them? Don’t be fooled with the usual “I’m ok” answer that they have rehearsed over and over again. It’s time to try and see beyond the donned masks and smoke and mirrors. Listen with more than your ears. Show care and concern beyond your hastily spoken words. Once more, how are the people around you really doing? Give the precious gift of love and concern with a hands-on effort this year. I wouldn’t want anyone of you to have to say or think ” I wish I would have known how depressed they really were”. Holidays can bring out the hurt in someone and multiply it faster than you can say Merry Christmas.