There’s a reason National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a favorite holiday movie. You know why? It isn’t perfect, it shows a lot of truth — family dysfunction, nostalgia for the quaint, filtered childhood Christmases, and the tough emotional and financial reality of striving to achieve the fuzzy, warm Christmas ideal. Many of us, no doubt, can still remember Bing Crosby on the old record player at our grandparents’ house and the love and laughter of family as children.

As we decorate and bake and celebrate, here’s just a reminder that the holiday season can be difficult and devastating for many who struggle emotionally and financially. There are so many of our family, friends and neighbors who strive to live up to the ideal Christmas season. There are many who cope with emotional losses this time of year, no matter their age. There are many for whom the greatest gift would be a call or a card. There are many who suffer from depression and find this the hardest time of year.

If you love the Christmas season, and so many do, add some non-tangible gifts to your list. You might be surprised how many of your own family and friends need your love and support. Give them a call, drop them a special card, or offer them a hug.

Everyone who struggles with Christmas isn’t an Ebenezer Scrooge. Most are just in search of the Ghosts of Christmas Love and Friendship.