Christmas . . . Don't Be A Scrooge
Ok. It’s Christmas. It’s the weird time of year where everyone seems so jolly, kids are all well-behaved and the money flows like we are all Bill Gates. It can also be a stressful time of year for parents, teachers, leaders and especially Santa. It becomes super easy to complain and tell everyone how BAD things are...BUT! We can make this the best time of year for people everywhere! This truly is a magical season (and let’s all be reminded of WHY...hint: it’s Jesus), so lets make it so. Help spread the good cheer, so to speak.
So, here are James’ 5 simple ways NOT to be a scrooge (or insert appropriate adjective here) this year.
Oh boy, I literally just felt you roll your eyes. Seriously though, this can be overlooked in so many ways. For instance; when was the last time you texted a friend for no reason but to say “I’m thinking about you and praying for your family this season!”. Ok, some of you do that, but what about to people that aren’t really your friends? Take a moment and scroll through your contacts list and see who you can reach out to just as a friendly person to say your thinking about them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll make more friends and you’ll be giving someone a much needed boost during the day.
Ok, this one is mainly for me. I LOVE presents. Who doesn’t? But, we all know someone around who might need something. Might be clothes, shoes, a jacket...or food. Maybe a neighbor you’ve seen who just moved in, or a friend you know would love a candle for their home. These little things add up and can express value to those around you.
C'mon people! Have people over to your house! ‘Tis the season for big meals! Hey, and if your house isn’t big enough, then meet at someone else's’! Getting together regularly strengthens friendships and keeps you out of isolation in a season when it's easy to hide away. Force yourself to be with other people on a regular basis.
For the benefits of this, see my article on “Medicinal Laughter”. Trust me, laughing is good for you. For those of you that aren't funny (I know who you are), practice some jokes! Yes, practice. And practice bad jokes too. It sounds weird but even a poorly told joke, around good people, can lighten up the room and show you are willing to go the extra mile so those around you can laugh and have a good time. For those of you that are funny, unleash the crazy.
This is tough in today's society and culture. Complaining is almost a given. From politics to sports, family to work, we can cover the whole gamut. Make a conscious effort to try focusing on positives in regular conversations. Write down 5 good things that are happening in the world, or at work, or in your family and focus on those things in conversation. Not only will people respond favorably toward you, you’ll feel better too.
There you go. Some good starters for the season, and you might as well carry them through to the new year too. We can have enough battles to face ourselves over Christmas, we might as well not be a battle to someone else. Kapish? ...Kaposh.
Remember, all in all, that we are called to love people and love God. So be a good example of that moving forward!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
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