Happy Holidays! We are only 7 sleeps away from the tinsel topped climax to this super stressful festive season. This time of year is wrought with short tempers and selfish behaviour. I know, the days are short and grey. I know that it’s hard to stay positive when you feel like a salmon swimming up-stream. I know, it’s frustrating when it takes twice as long to get anywhere. I know all these things, because I deal with them too. Which is why this year, I made a Happy Holiday plan.
This is the first year in many that I have encouraged myself into the Holiday Spirit. I haven’t really celebrated the season in the last 9 years. I mean, I would exchange gifts with friends and feast with family, but I didn’t have the holiday spirit. I didn’t decorate my own home. I wasn’t invested. Detached from all the reasons for the season. I am not a particularly religious person, though I love the way hymns sound in a church on Christmas Eve. And I didn’t want to offend anyone, so I did nothing. Herein lies the rub, for me; Christmas is about being a better person, which is encouraged in all languages, all over the world, regardless of religion. I was doing myself and those around me a great disservice.
When I was little, I had the Sesame Street Christmas album. My favourite song was A Christmas Pageant, but #2 was Keep Christmas With You (All Through The Year). I loved the idea that everyday is a special one. That I had the power to spread cheer, no matter the time of year. When I found that album in my parents’ record collection last Christmas, it sparked a change in me. So, I made a happy holiday plan. This year, I decorated my home. I listened to carols, the crooners being my favourite. I enjoyed mulled wine and conversations with friends, whom I wish I saw more. I made an effort to be jolly. I held doors for strangers carrying packages. I navigated the sidewalk with a smile on my face. I greeted shopkeepers with enthusiasm. I was an army of Nice, fighting against the cold and tempting bitterness of the Holidays.
Being cheerful is a challenge. There were quite a few times when I was discouraged, but I foraged ahead. And the benefits have far outweighed the detriments. Now, I’m ready to encourage you to give the Gifts For A Better World. Wanna know the VERY best part? THEY’RE FREE!! No guilt. No bills to pay off. Just an exponential return on investment. Being a good example encourages those around you to improve themselves. That is an amazing gift we can give everyday, if you choose to “Keep Christmas With You”. And even if you can’t do it all year round, there’s only 7 more sleeps until it’s over for another year. So, Happy Holidays, however you choose to celebrate!