Happy Holidays from Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County!

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or perhaps secular celebration… it doesn’t matter which you celebrate, but did you know that December is National Stress-Free Holiday Month?

Perhaps it doesn’t feel so stress-free to you. On Sunday I was in line to check out at Target, and there was a family of five in front of me. Mom and Dad had a toy for each of the kids, and as we waited in line, their heads were together, worriedly counting out one-dollar bills and loose change to see if they had enough to cover all three items and taxes. (Many of our clients are in similar situations. Thanks to incredible donations from Toys for Tots, Little Smiles and many generous private donors, we are able to bring a little bit of stress relief and a lot of smiles to our families.)

The truth is that “the most wonderful time of the year” can also be the most stressful. We create expectations for ourselves and others, worrying about presents and parties, rather than reflecting on the meaning this time can bring to our lives.

As well as a time to give to others, this also can be a time to take care of yourself. Here are a few ideas:

  • Send a card or message to someone who has a special place in your heart.
  • Make a list of people and things for which you are grateful.
  • Give gifts from the heart; perhaps hand-made or gifts of your time and effort to make life easier for someone important to you.
  • Acknowledge your feelings and make time to do something that you like to do – just for you.
  • Be festive with food, décor, clothing, whatever makes you smile.

To paraphrase Anita Diamant, “…at this season people of all faiths and cultures push back against the darkness. We string bulbs, ignite bonfires, and light candles. And we sing.”

May the new year bring you joy.


Todd L’Herrou, CEO
P.S. I am also thankful to be able to introduce myself as the new CEO at the Center. As you already know, we have a caring team of professionals working with individuals and families in need every day. It is an honor to have been asked to lead this amazing organization, and I look forward to getting to know all of you as I settle in to my new position.

If you are in crisis, please call or text 988 – the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal thoughts, a mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support. The Lifeline is answered locally by 211 Helpline of Palm Beach and Treasure Coast.

Center for Family Services has been providing mental health services and education to children, adults and families since 1961. Our clients are some of the most vulnerable in the community due to their age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Donations are a crucial means to their mental well-being. On their behalf, thank you for your support.

To learn more about our programs, visit our Programs page.
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