The end of the year always brings moments when you just want to cuddle with someone you love, spend time with family, have lavish dinner parties and reminisce about the months that have passed.It is a great time to process what has happened during the year—both good and bad. You can start making plans for the months to come, while warming up to your family, friends and loved ones.My favorite time of the year is definitely the fall season. The air we breathe is crisp and the colors all around us are the most beautiful of the year. But I can’t deny the fact that winter brings great moments, too. It is the season of deep conversations and spending time together. The winter months bring the time to emphasize bonds and emotions.

I love it. I make hearty soups and delicious roasted root vegetables for my loved ones. I have late-night conversations over a glass of hot apple cider. I read, write and do other creative things to nourish my mind. I love being warm inside, while it is storming outside!

In my opinion, the best relationships you have in your life are the ones that have equal give-and-take. If you feel drained after meeting someone, and this happens each time you meet, it might be time to let go—even if it is for a short period of time.

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On the other hand, people who always make you feel really good, inspire you, and are fun to be around are the people you might want to spend more time with and invest in. In my life I had to make tough decisions about breaking up with certain people—whether they were love interests, or friends, or even family.(Some did come back to me later in life. My sister and I have a much stronger bond after we took some time apart to discover ourselves.)If I started feeling down and depressed after being around them, I thought that must not be good. You might think you should stay around because they are family, or because everyone around you loves them. Sometimes it is better to take a break, and it can be good for both parties. It could lead to something better in the end with or without each other.

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I always say: each day is a new day and a new beginning to start over. This is quite true with relationships, too. When someone always makes you laugh and feel happy, but you don’t see him or her enough, maybe it is time to invest. I’m almost certain that your friend will like it even if you call him or her out of the blue!I think this is the time to think about who you are, what you want, and who you want to be around. Who do you want to spend the holidays with? All that matters in life is Love with a capital “L.” Have you heard the saying: “If you love something, set it free. If it does not return, it was never meant to be.” I believe that. But also if you don’t invest in people at all, there won’t be much you will get in return.

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Become the person you would want to have as a friend yourself. If you want love from your family, the best chance to get it is to give love yourself. Many times this will bring you love and respect as well.

And, if not? Well, that brings me back to what I said before: If you feel you are not appreciated enough by certain people, go hang out with people who do love you. And there is always someone who loves you—starting with yourself. While this time of the year can be dark and gloomy, it is also the time of intense feelings, love and appreciation. I hope you are lucky enough to be in a good place, and that you are spending these days with true loves.