A universal message.

Season's wish
My words, my friend’s image, our universal message.

My wish for you in this season of celebrations is simple and universal. It’s a message you can embrace guilt-free, year-round, regardless of your faith or lack thereof.

Isn’t it refreshing to find a universal message that everyone can embrace?

Stuff yourself with joy,

Gorge on goodwill,

And drink in all the love you can find.

The prose for this message came to me when I thought about what I could share with my business clients in my position as Director, Health & Wellness Services for an insurance brokerage firm. Sharing a religious message was not appropriate. (I won’t get into the varying opinions about, for example, if non-Christians “mind” being wished “Merry Christmas” from a Christian.)

But I knew in my heart that December was a celebratory month for much of the world’s peoples of many faiths, and even those of no religious faith. And yet, from my professional seat, I didn’t want to exclude, over-include, or offend anyone.

There must be some universal message, I thought.

To add to my dilemma, in my capacity as a wellness professional, I didn’t want to encourage unhealthy habits. “Stuff, gorge, and drink” go hand-in-hand with celebrations of all kinds, and, in moderation, I believe “letting loose” behaviors may nourish the soul even if they aren’t ideal for the body.

But I love my job, and I didn’t want a misconstrued message to come across as a recommendation for hedonism, and land me in the unemployment line.

How can I meet these restrictive and contradictory requirements?

Behaviors are one aspect of celebration, but what lies beneath those? Joy, goodwill, and love, for starters.

Writing muses to the rescue! In a moment of inspiration, I figured it out. Then, I partnered with Sam, my photographer friend (see his link below), and created this card.

I wish this for you today, and with every celebration in the years to come!

To see what I’m up to these days, check out this page.

(Thanks to my friend Sam Ciraulo at sciraulophotography.com for his beautiful image!)


  • Karen DeBonis

    Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

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