Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Tis the Season...

It amazes me that the Christmas season is already upon us. It also amazes me that at this time of year how Scrooge-like some of us become.

On a recent shopping trip to the local mall, I was not surprised to find that people seem to practice a more Bah-humbug attitude than a kind one toward others. For some reason it is this, the most important of holidays, that seems to bring out the worst in us.

Feelings of pressure, anxiety, anger, inadequacy, and hostility seem to emerge more this season than any other time of the year. I experience a bit of these myself. I find that I get caught up in the whirlwind of the season. Lost in the aisles of the toy stores...trying to find a way to stretch the budget as far as possible. It can be very tempting to purchase today what we cannot pay for tomorrow. For this, our credit card companies are eternally grateful!

Maybe it is just my perception, but it seems that there are an infinite number of toy commercials on television these days. Every one of those commercials are somehow able to convince our children that it is an item that they simply cannot live without. I find this ironic since it is the most influential people in our children lives (us parents) that cannot seem to make our children understand the simple joy in this very important season. Perhaps it is because the spirit within each of us has been lost.

Each year I find myself yelling at a car for cutting me off, or grumbling under my breath because someone didn't say "thank you" for holding a door. It is in that moment that I realize that through example I am teaching my children how to become mini-Scrooges. Anger and greed are much like a cyclone...the more you allow yourself to be taken in, the deeper it takes you. Then, if you aren't careful, you might find 3 ghosts visiting you on Christmas Eve.

Personally, I find that the best medicine for a Scrooge is a smile. The theory of "pay it forward" is needed more this season than any other. It seems that when your willing to give the gift of happiness, kindness, and compassion the recipient is much more grateful than if you would have given them an expensive gift. This Christmas, if you are faced with an eternal Scrooge, the person that is impossible to shop for, or the child that wants everything...try giving a little love, time, and bit of happiness. My bet is that your gift will be the one that they talk about for many years to come.

Merry Christmas! May this season find you happy, healthy, and surrounded with love. :)