Winter is a time of many holidays. Most of them we try to celebrate to bring the family closer together. In November there is Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks. In December there is Christmas, a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And then, of course, comes New Years . . . a time to let go of the old year and let in a new one.

Winter is also a time commonly depicted by snow. Snow, that cold white stuff that gets on the windshield and needs shoveling from your driveway and walks. At least that is how it is thought of in the Midwest where I am from. Even though southern California is different, I always saw snowflakes in the Christmas decorations. The ones I like the most are the ones made by children. Even more fascinating are the paper lace doilies they use for both snowflakes and for angel wings. Makes me think about winter angels and just what their message to us might be this season.

W... We have a choice to be winners or whiners. We can wish for something better or we can work for a better world. A friend of mine always said there were three kinds of people in the world. Those who watch what happens, those who make things happen, and those who just wonder what happened.

I... We have a choice to live in ignorance or to use our intelligence. We can be inspired or we can sit idly by and ignore the world and each other. It is a time of more little "I" of less ego, than the big "I" of illusion. It is a time to identify what is important and act immediately in everyone's best interest.

N... We have a choice to nurture or neglect each other. We know what is natural and what is necessary. Too often we act on what is normal, negating the network of relationships and family. We need to notice each other, and nurse each other to a state of mutual nurturance.

T... We can choose tenderness or treachery. We can teach that now is the time to commit to the team of earth and mankind. It is a turning point where choices have to be made. Time is running out. The time to act is now. Don't be timid. Come together.

E... We can choose to have anger or empathy. We can attack each other, or we can educate and enjoy each other. We can live in entitlement and contribute nothing, or empower ourselves to earn our way and the respect of others on this journey. We can live with the envy of what others have, or embark with enthusiasm towards our own end.

R... We can choose to relax and renew our commitment to each other, or we can refuse to accept responsibility for ourselves and our relationships. If we resist, we remain rigid, rejected and alone with our rage. By remembering our relationships we can be more open to receiving by giving in response. It is a reciprocal relationship.

A... We can choose to have anger and anxiety or to look for answers and advice. We have the ability to act as adults who make alliances that increase everyone's abundance, or we can abandon and abuse ourselves and others through aggression, ambition, and alcohol. It is a time to listen to the angels and amplify their message of affirmation and awe.

N... We can choose to have a new year that is better than the one before, or we can have a repeat of this year in the next. It can be a time of negativity or we can choose to negotiate and navigate to a better year next time.

G... We can choose to be giving and gentle or be so focused on our getting that we forget to give. Do we really want to gamble as if our lives are a game? Or, do we want to get together with people who genuinely want the same goal, that which is good for all? Focus on the giving and you will get.

E... We can choose to engage each other for evil and egos, or elect to enjoy and excel. It is easy to evade the questions and escape into excess and excuses. To exercise or enhance our esteem, we must engage each other in ways that are efficient and effective. It is a time to evolve towards excellence.

L... We can choose to stay lazy and become losers, or we can learn to love and live together. We will all lose or we will all win. The answer is not in low self-esteem or strictly looking at what we lack. The answers have always been lying beside and inside us. It is the liberation of life through love, laughter and labor. I always like the saying "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."

I would hope that all will listen to the winter angel's message. Plan ahead so you and your family can have the best holiday season yet. As you come together for the holidays, keep love in your heart and listen for the subtle sounds of angels wings. They are always there when we listen quietly.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. From my family and friends to you and yours, a happy holiday season.

Lynn Seiser, MA MFCC, is an internationally respected therapist, trainer, consultant, speaker, and writer in the recovery counseling of offenders and victims from violence, trauma and abuse. He can be contacted at: 550 Pacific Coast Hwy. #203, Seal Beach, CA 90740-6601. (310) 799-1371 or e-mail: .

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