So it’s Christmas time.
Time to push and shove and butt in front of people, to get to your company’s ugly sweater party or to your singles’ group gift exchange.
Time to check your phone every ten minutes to see what your Mother-in-law’s latest dinner plans are and when the ham will be on sale. Time to get frustrated, punching buttons and pushing numbers to find the best toy deals at Target or the best days to fly with United.
Time to figure out how you can possibly get that electronic gadget that shaves your legs AND brushes your teeth at the same time, so you no longer need to do ANYTHING. Then ya gotta put it on your Christmas list, because you’ve just spent the last of your money buying a similar gadget for someone else, that they clearly NEED, so that they won’t have to do anything either.
Now you can both sit on the couch all day and watch the world go by, one newsfeed at a time.
That is, until…
It’s time to go to the bank and take out another mortgage on your house, so you can bless your child with that real-life princess castle she wants, which will consequently take up the whole back yard. Oh and definitely time to yell at the person who cuts you off while you are doing so. Possibly even give them the middle finger. Just because…
It’s Christmas time!
Don’t you know??
Joy to the world and yet we’ve lost our joy! We celebrate the Prince of Peace, and yet we have NO PEACE!! Somehow, year after year, Merry Christmas turns into Mad Christmas for way too many of us and I, for one, am not having it anymore.
As of this year, I am officially done with that. I’m done with living in a constant state of anxiety about buying gifts and booking flights and getting to the party. I’ve decided instead that I am going to celebrate true “Peace on Earth,” by staying peaceful. I’m going to have a Merry Christmas, by doing things that make me merry. (Profound, I know!)
Now I’m not talking about downing a whole bottle of vodka, before the party. (Ok. So maybe a half?!:)) I’m talking about saying NO to things that take me away from peace, and YES to things that bring me joy.
So I’ve come up with a guide. A happy holiday guide, if you will. One which I am positive will help us all have a much more “merry” existence in these last days before Santa comes.
Here’s 10 easy (and FREE!) ways to have a Merry Christmas:
No. 1. Slow Down. Seriously! It’s not going to kill anyone if you’re late to that ugly sweater contest. On the other hand, it might actually kill someone if you keep driving like a train wreck all over the road, to get there.
No. 2. Dance to some Christmas music. Well, first light some candles and make a bath for your loved one. Slip on something sexy, take them by the arm and dance to The Jingle Bell Rock. Then, let the magic of Christmas go to work. Cuz it will! Promise.
No.3. Listen to the Needs of Others. This might seem like a no-brainer. But for many of us, it is a lost art. Especially when we are scurrying about, trying so hard to get our own needs met. Take three extra seconds to look into the eyes of the bank teller or the stressed-out cashier at Walmart. And listen. You might be surprised at what you will hear.
No. 4. Buy a stranger’s coffee. Instead of butting in front of them, smile and pay for their coffee. (Ok, so this one’s not free, but! It is so worth the four bucks, to know you totally made someone’s day, and possibly even their whole year!)
No. 5. Offer your babysitting services to a Mother of small children. And can I just say, especially to a single Mother?! Chances are, that is the only time she will have, to go get her Christmas shopping done.
No. 6. Smile at the person who cuts you off. Yes, I said, “SMILE.” You might freak them out, but you might also help them calm down and relax a little. And every little bit helps. Especially right now, in the days before Christmas!
No. 7. Give your kids the gift of time. Read a Christmas story. Pop some popcorn. Do a craft. Or put a puzzle together. Instead of doing something FOR them, do something WITH them. They will remember that much longer than the toy you spent your life savings on, anyway.
No. 8. Stop and help someone that’s broke down. This is also becoming a lost art. Sometimes it’s just a matter of stopping long enough to ask if they need to call someone, or if they have a phone. It takes five minutes, max. Do it!
No. 9. Buy a homeless person some lunch. Even better, invite them to meet you at the restaurant right around the corner. Sit across the table and hear their story. Go ahead n buy them a beer. What the heck, it’s Christmas time! And everyone deserves to be celebrated, to experience extravagant grace at least once a year.
No. 10. Take a deep breath. Remember that nothing is worth losing your peace over. Not even United Airlines. Relax, meditate, and sip some hot chocolate.
Because really. That’s what it’s all about.
It’s Christmas time!
Instead of getting stressed, get happy and enjoy the season! Instead of losing your marbles and going ballistic, try one or all of these things. You will feel so much better about the world, yourself, your job, and even your kids, if you focus on things that bring you joy, not stress.
Now, pour a nice round glass of red and have yourselves a Merry little Christmas! All of you.
Update: So immediately after publishing this, the world blew up at the news of Phil Robertson being fired for speaking about his view on gays. Here’s the deal, guys. It doesn’t matter to me, and it shouldn’t to you. It shouldn’t matter what a funny guy on reality tv thinks about the way you live your life. I sure as hell won’t let that dictate how I love gay people or anyone else, and it sure as heaven will not rob me of my joy. Neither should it rob you of yours. It’s Christmas, for pete’s sake! Let it go. Cut the tv if you need to, but do your thing! Keep breathing. Keep loving! And stay happy.:)