Today is December 7th which means we are less than 3 weeks away from Christmas. How are you doing? I ask because I care. I've observed lately that people tend to handle the holidays in different ways. Some people are overflowing with a sense of Christmas spirit, but there are others who are not. It's not a surprise, but Christmas can bring out the best, as well as the worst in people. Everyone handles it differently and that's o.k. (just a little sad I suppose). There are some who've had their trees up and decorated for a few weeks now (ok I admit our house is one of them), but there are others who completely dread the thought of putting up a tree and will literally wait til 2 days before Christmas. I honestly don't think it's because they're all so busy that they don't have the time. I think for some it's an inconvenience, but for others it could be a sad reminder that they might be alone at times during the holidays.
If you're behind in your cookie baking or decided not to send a Christmas card this year or haven't started your shopping yet or don't have a festive wreath on your front door ... that's o.k. But whatever you DO choose to do to celebrate your holiday, do it because it makes YOU happy. Do it because it makes YOU feel good. NEVER get in the habit of doing things for the wrong reason. Don't feel that you have to bake cookie trays for the neighbors or hand make your ornaments (unless you want to). You should never stress yourself out over doing things because you think it's expected of you. No one has the right to 'expect' anything from you. If you want to scale things back a bit and go for a simpler Christmas then that's what you should do.
There are people who absolutely LOVE the Christmas season and all it represents. Christmas is about hope, joy, love and peace. It's NOT about new cell phones, new gadgets, new Barbies or skateboards. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against gift-giving when it comes from the heart. But I am against buying gifts because it's expected or it's merely for etiquette and reciprocity. I'll admit I even went shopping 'once' a few years ago on Black Friday. People's behavior can be an interesting thing to observe (especially when you're standing in a longggggg line). I saw people go into stores with very specific lists and were seriously looking for ways to make their hard-earned dollars go a little further. But I also witnessed people behaving like they were part of an African Safari ... for them I think it was more about beating the next guy in line and the adrenaline of the hunt. Ironically I've known people who have no desire to go to church on Christmas (they either think God doesn't exist or isn't important enough), but have no problem spending hundreds of dollars on gifts and signing the card 'from Santa'.
People are different. I suppose that's what makes us all unique in our own ways. My wish for you this Christmas season is that you find joy in your heart, that you're blessed with good health, and that you have someone to spend the season with. If you know someone who has lost someone this year and may be alone, consider inviting them over for Christmas dinner, or a cup of tea and conversation over a plate of Christmas cookies one afternoon. Perhaps shovel the snow for your elderly neighbor who is having a hard time but doesn't want to bother you by asking. For health reasons my mom doesn't get out of her apartment much. She doesn't have the space for us kids and grand kids to come over and have a meal, but she's also uncomfortable leaving her apartment. So we go visit her on Christmas Day and I bring her a fully prepared meal that she can enjoy after we've left. There are probably a million different solutions. The important thing is for us not to become so self-absorbed in our own worlds that we forget about those around us.
I heard a story the other day about a woman who was standing in line at a fast food restaurant. Her order was minimal, but she handed the cashier a $20 bill and said 'just use the change to cover as many orders behind me as it'll go'. Now that's pretty cool!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!!