A Personal Letter For Christmas

Christmas Brain GamesBelow is a letter I wrote and sent to this community two years ago on Christmas day. On a day I thought no one was listening, I received hundreds of replies. Replies from those of you who vowed to check in on others that day and replies from those of you who desperately needed someone to reach out and check in on you.

Since that day, this community has grown beyond my dreams. We are a diverse group, facing many different challenges and experiencing many different versions of success. I am grateful to know you, to celebrate your good days and walk with you through your bad days.

I re-read this letter and your replies on days when nothing seems to go right, and they remind me of why I work so hard and what this community truly means. I am reposting the letter for those of you who are newer, as well as for those of you who’ve been here all along.

Thank you for making this community what it is today.


While most of you are enjoying the holiday with friends and family, I know that there are many of you who have had trouble finding joy this season. The holidays can be particularly tough, and while the rest of us have been busily shopping and celebrating, some of you have been quietly suffering – simply trying to get through the day.

There are people in our community who have lost a loved one this year and are celebrating Christmas without them for the first time. There are people in our community whose idea of family sadly did not work out. They are trying to figure out how to celebrate while dealing with the challenges of living alone and feeling the sadness of not having their children around them. And there are people in our community who are sick and scared and are wondering if this Christmas might be their last.

This was the message spoken by the minister last night while I sat in Church with my loved one. Tears ran down my face as I thanked God for bringing me into a life of love, health and joy. It wasn’t too long ago that I was one of the quiet and sad ones. For years due to health reasons, the holidays were lonely, painful and dark. It took everything I had to get through a single day, and I could not imagine that life would ever get better.

If you are struggling today, whether it be from sadness, pain or fear, please know that you are loved. You are a beautiful, wonderful being, and you will get through this moment. You have light, joy and happiness waiting for you. I love you. I am thinking of you, and I understand what you are going through.

If you are blessed to be in good health, good spirits and good company, I ask you to take a moment and think about your community. Do you have a neighbor, a coworker or a friend who might not be celebrating? Please check in on them today, tonight or this week. Bring them some food, give them a call, ask them over. They may turn you down (and many will), but the act of you reaching out will mean more than I could ever explain here.

Finally, thank you for taking a moment to read this note. Thank you for allowing me to speak on a spiritual level. I recognize that we are a diverse, global community here at Brain Pages, and we are of many different faiths and beliefs. Thank you to those of you who do not celebrate Christmas for allowing me the space to celebrate.

I wish you all love, peace and health.


Erin Matlock is founder and CEO of Brain Pages Inc, a new-media company specializing in the ethical and honest promotion of brain health and mental health professionals, products and resources. She is a life member of Mensa and served as an official testing proctor for the organization. She consults with businesses, organizations and individual providers – teaching them how to develop and position their marketing messages to build strong and lasting relationships with consumers.


  1. Susan Leister says:

    Sorry, can’t keep the dyskinesia away this AM, punching the wrong buttons….anyway, I sat trying to sing Silent Night, watching the candlelight in the darkness of the sanctuary..it was absolutely heavenly, and made me choke up so that I couldn’t sing. I found my voice again when I saw my husband and two daughters in the balcony goofing around because Daddy can’t sing! Unfortunately, he was trying! I hope to be better next year, but am fearful at times that I’ll be worse. It seems that the harder I try, the farther backward I go….what’s up with that? I have such wonderful friends and family who continue to tell me what a great attitude I have..I hate to disappoint them, but it’s hard to keep a sense of humor about this when I’m having to ask for more help…All I can doin keep on plugging, hang on to my natural stubbornness, and defy this thing to the best of my ability. It could be worse. Tanks for listening!

    • Erin Matlock says:

      Merry Christmas Susan!

      I always love it when the lights go dim, the candles are lit and Silent Night is sung – one of the most beautiful parts of a Christmas Eve service. You sound like you have a loving (and fun) family.

      Susan, know that you could never disappoint your family or friends. Your daily fight is inspiration, and you do not need to be happy or upbeat all the time. You are entitled to bad days and your are entitled to feeling down sometimes. You are human, and that is normal.

      And yes, keep on plugging. Stay stubborn….

      There are many in this community who face the daily challenges of Parkinson’s. Thank you for sharing your story with them and with me.


  2. Susan Leister says:

    What a fantastic idea! I was there, at church last night, sitting in the choir, quietly trying to minimize the visual distraction of the dystonia and tremor of my Parkinson’s Disease.Q

  3. Thank you for the wonderful note. I had found myself wallowing in my depression, doing only what needs to be done. A friend took me to a concert, where I had a marvelous time. I ran into old friends and made new ones. I thanked my friend and asked her to help me, to tell me to get up and get out. To remind me what we have in this world is beautiful and should not be ignored. Your letter, is a thank you to her as well, and a reminder to me that no matter how bad I have it, someone near me may have it worse. Merry Christmas!!!

    • Erin Matlock says:

      Merry Christmas Claudette!

      You have a wonderful friend, and it sounds like you are a wonderful friend as well. I’m so glad you went to the concert – I know how hard it is to just ‘go outside’ somedays. It’s vital medicine – socialization – and it is key to recovery. The tough thing is that we feel the least like socializing when we need to do it the most. Keep going.

      Thank you for being a part of this community, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment.


  4. Erin Matlock says:

    Welcome Lisa and thank you for such kind words. I am so happy you’ve found us and am looking forward to getting to know you better. Have a wonderful holiday!


  5. Hi Erin. I am one of the newbies here. Thank you for this positive, life-affirming message. You shine brightly! I am so thrilled to have found you and your brain work. I have found working on my brain is a good addiction. Blessings to you and everyone reading this and those who will not read it, too.