When you read todays topic you may have thought, REALLY? Do we need to be reminded of this during the holidays?
Well apparently we do. It seems that each year during November and December we start hearing about things like brawls at the mall with people fighting over particular items that may be in short supply. Or angry battles over nativity scenes being displayed on government property with both side being sure they are “right.” Then we have the annual brouhaha over what type of holiday greeting is proper to extend to people.
As I watch this unfolding year after year, I can’t help but wonder what all this has to do with what we say we are celebrating. If you are a Christian, does your holiday behavior reflect the life and teachings of the Master Teacher, the Price of Peace whose birth you say you are celebrating? If you celebrate a “secular” Christmas and say your celebrations are all about family, does your behavior reflect this? Do you want to pass down traditions that bring you closer as a family or that teach greed and selfishness? No matter what you celebrate during this time stop and ask if you behavior is reflecting what you say you are celebrating.
Okay so what can we do to make the holiday season a little kinder and gentler?
- Remember this is a stressful time for many people. Retail workers in particular are working long hours and serving larger crowds. Tempers can be short and people can be easily provoked. Be patient with others and do not do anything to intentionally provoke another person during this time.
- When someone gives you a holiday greeting accept it in the spirit in which it is intended. They are greeting you from their traditions and customs and may not even know that you believe or celebrate differently.
- Focus on light, love and peace rather than who is right and who is wrong.
- Buy an extra gift, pair of mittens, winter hat, etc. for charity.
- Watch what you post on social media. Focus on the positive. Be the voice of love and light instead of discord and anger.
- If you practice random acts of kindness, continue throughout the holiday season. If you don’t this is a good time to begin. These don’t have to be big and flashy. Something as simple as opening the door for someone with their arms full will be appreciated.
- Each day think of one thing for which you are grateful. Speak it out loud. Come back to this throughout the day.
- Finally take time to listen. I mean really listen to someone else. Give them your full attention. Look them in the eyes and listen. Don’t look at your cell phone or other distractions. Let the other person know you are present and you really hear them. Give the gift of listening — this could be the best gift someone receives this year.
Life is not always about who is right and who is wrong. Our life on this planet is a school. We are here to learn how to get along with each other. If we are ever going to learn this we need to start practicing. Isn’t this the perfect time to start?
Oh and one last thing… SMILE! But be careful. It’s contagious you know. 🙂