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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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The One (and Only) Gift You Need This Holiday Season

The One (and Only) Gift You Need This Holiday Season

The best gifts we can get are sometimes the ones we give ourselves: health, wisdom, perspective, gentleness, empathy and understanding.

Menopause & Aging Well

I wasn't raised to believe in Santa, although I must admit that it would have been fun to celebrate once a year with a portly, jolly, white-bearded man with whom I could share my wishes and who would give me an incentive to behave all year long.

I never did get to reach into his bag to pull out a special gift, see his sleigh or pet his reindeer, sit on his lap to stroke his beard or get close enough to hear his "ho, ho, ho" and leave with a feeling that I would be taken care of by this jolly old man.

I'm over it now—I really am. And now I've reached the point where my friends have caught up to me, knowing full well that there is no Santa or any cute and diminutive secret elves busily helping in his shop while we catch up on our beauty sleep.

So, who and what can we turn to when we are full of wishes and longing? What—and who—can take the place of a comfy lap, a welcome hug, a knowing grin, an understanding nature?

I think it's time to turn to the gift of ourselves. After all, the years have taught us so much, and by now we can rely upon the things that age—not Santa or any facsimile of—has granted us: that kaleidoscope of collective wisdom, instinct, strength, perspective, power, empathy, compassion, fearlessness, creativity, happiness, courage, confidence, gentleness, understanding, and, most important, continued good health.

And so, this holiday season—and all year long—I'm turning inward to gather all the gifts I have, embrace them and unleash them to anyone who wants to receive them. They may not come complete with tidy bows, but don't let that glitzy wrapping paper fool you: It's what's inside that really counts.

Happy holidays to you all. Looking forward to chatting with you in 2017!

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