Professional Physical Therapy - December 2019


620 Old West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038 • 508-528-6100 •


How Would You Spend It?

families in need during the holidays. Every year, we receive the names of people in a family who we are to “adopt” for the holiday season. We go out, shop for gifts, and hope to make the holidays a little brighter for them. We don’t know who the people are — we only receive their first names — but we know we are doing work to put smiles on faces. It’s amazing how much this act of helping others completely restores the holiday spirit. All of a sudden, the tasks that felt like drudgery are now filled with meaning. The people whom the Santa Foundation supports will feel the impact of gifts in a way most of us are privileged enough to never experience. For most of the people reading this newsletter and those in our community, another winter coat is simply another winter coat. For somebody who is in desperate need of a new coat, though, it’s much more important than that. And because we never meet the people for whom we buy the gifts, none of it is about us. There’s no competition to be the coolest mom/daughter/ aunt/cousin/etc. Instead, it’s simply about the person on the other end, whomever it may be. I have never enjoyed shopping as much as I do in this context. It makes me feel the sense of wonder and hope you get from old movies and TV shows set 50 years ago, where shopping for gifts looks like a magical event in and of itself. Of course, my hypothetical final holidays would also involve plenty of time with family, a good meal, and the little moments that make us remember the value of giving and gratitude. These things, more than a deal on a new TV, are what I want to keep in mind when I think of the most wonderful time of the year. No matter what your holidays include, I hope you have a chance to get at the real spirit of this time of year. It may be harder and

Donations from the Santa Foundation event in 2018

These days, it seems like there are almost as many folks who are exhausted by the holidays as people who are excited for them. And you know what? I totally get it. The period of time from about the second week of October until New Year’s Eve is one of ceaseless commercialism. Every year, the days when we used to spend time with loved ones are now days when we’re expected to buy stuff. Black Friday has broken free of the bonds of time and begins on Thanksgiving. Other parts of the holidays have become conscious parodies of themselves. In 2019, everyone knows their Christmas sweater is hideous. It can all get a little tiring. However, just when it seems like the holidays have lost all their magic, some activity or moment snaps their true meaning and spirit back into focus. For me, and I hope for you too, these experiences cut through all the noise and powdery cocoa in the world. Even when we start drinking pumpkin spice lattes in June and carving jack-o’-lanterns in August, those authentic holiday interactions will remain. Seeking them out can be the difference between a weary December and a cheery one. The way I like to think about it is to ask myself, “If this were my last holiday season, how would I spend it?”

harder to do, but it’s far from impossible. The holiday flame flickers on. It’s up to us to feed it. If you want to do that by helping out the Santa Foundation, call our office to find out how.

Happy holidays, everyone!

One of the first things I’d pick for my final holiday season is our practice’s work with the Santa Foundation, a local charity that provides gifts to

– Dr. Stacey Raybuck Schatz

Professional Physical Therapy | 508-528-6100 • 1

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