With an entire month focused on Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the season. As we rush from one activity to another, we don’t often pause to actually enjoy it. Here are some of my suggestions on making the holiday better for all.
- Slow down. I realize there is a lot to get done before December 25. A sign in a store yesterday reminded me that there were only nine shopping days left! But it’s important to drive safely and give pedestrians and other drivers a break. And let’s face it. An accident would surely put a damper on the holiday spirit.
- If it should snow, please shovel your sidewalk. I realize we have been having a California-style December in the Midwest. But no doubt, as soon as we get complacent, the snow will arrive. Remember that commuters, dog walkers, and just anyone who enjoys taking a walk in the great outdoors will be trying to navigate your sidewalk. They should not need snowshoes to do so!
- Make an effort to learn about other faith and cultural traditions. December is filled with festivals of light: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice. Learning about how other people celebrate to banish the darkness will be intriguing as well as a great way to learn respect and tolerance for each other’s differences.
- Give freely of not only your money, but your good will. Smile at the bell ringer as you deposit that dollar in the Salvation Army can. Be kind and patient with retail clerks of all kinds, who are burdened with all the extra merchandise and the crush of customers shopping for Christmas gifts and the stuff of holiday feasts. Take the time to thank those who have made your life a little happier or easier this year.
- If you are a spiritual person, pray. Pray for peace, unity, understanding, healing, and joy. This world could use a little more of all of the above.
The Christmas season should not go by in a blur, but rather be savored as the joyful, warm, and blessed one that it is meant to be. So this season, make some hot chocolate, watch a holiday movie with the kids, plan an outing to see Christmas lights or the giant tree in your favorite department store. Wear an ugly sweater and sing carols, no matter how bad your singing voice may be.
May your days be merry and bright!