Finding Happiness during this Christmas/Holiday Season in Boquete, Panama

Blog by Manzar Lari


Why are happiness, joy and belonging so important during the holiday season? Is it because all year long we are focused on so many other things, or should I say “busy work”, that we don’t allow ourselves to take inventory of the truly meaningful things in our lives? Meaningful things such as close friendships, significant romantic relationships and unconditional family connections?

For many of us, the holiday season brings all this to the forefront. Many questions run through our head… Did I get invited to a Thanksgiving dinner somewhere? Did I receive any e-cards stating “Have a great Christmas and New Year”? Did I take the time to write to someone else who I have been meaning to contact all year long? Should I wait and see if there are any Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties or should I plan one of my own? Will anyone even come to the party if I organized one? What is the best gift to buy for each of my family members and friends? While Holiday time can affirm for us what we already know about our relationships and what we have in our lives, it can also be a realization of our own loneliness and lack of belonging. Belonging, happiness and joy are so intertwined for most people that it is difficult to look at one without the other. To experience unbridled joy one has to be on their own path to happiness all within the context of a sense of belonging and nurturance.


I grew up in a culture that did not celebrate Christmas but I do understand the spirit of Christmas. Most cultures share that “spirit” in common. They may call it Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali or by any other name but they share the same essence of goodness and connection with others. In Boquete, Panama, this spirit lives on. It can be seen in the decorations around town, the holiday and Christmas parades where old and young dutifully partake in are all symbols of the connection with each other and to a higher power. It is great to watch all these festivities. Maybe in the coming years I would feel more of a connection to the people of Boquete and take part in these celebrations myself instead of watching them from the sidelines? I digress! Back to happiness. How can one feel happier during the holidays? Here are some tips:

  • Give a little piece of yourself – volunteer your time and resources
  • Give yourself a break – get rid of all the “shoulds” that create additional stress
  • Give others a gift that they will remember – It doesn’t have to be an actual present. It can be a heartfelt note sharing your gratitude
  • Give thanks – try to remember the things you are thankful for in your life
  • Give it a rest – take some time out for yourself and relax


Take a look at the attached link to an article that says the above in more detail. She seems to know what she is talking about!


If you are interested in Life Coaching services offered by yours truly (Manzar Lari), please take a look at my Life Coaching website and contact me through the website:

I would be great to hear from you!

At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we are ready for the holiday season and would love to have you come stay with us and be part of this magical time of the year!

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