It’s a few days after Christmas and the excitement of our new “toys” is wearing off and we are dreading taking down the lights and trees. We may have to put away the music, decorations and lights of the Christmas season, but there is an aspect of Christmas I wish we would let hang around.
Pre-Christmas Excitement and Cheer
The Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving for most of us and continues until after New Year’s. During that time, it seems as if everyone is in a better mood. There is, of course, the stress of fitting more activities into a limited amount of time and buying gifts on a limited budget, but there is also a feeling of celebration while doing all of this. People just seem kinder. We smile and say “Merry Christmas” to each other. There is just a different feeling in the air and it is brought on by the peace that Christmas brings. Just give a thought to what if it were like that all year round.
Let’s take, for instance, the cashier in a local Walmart that you usually feel could be nicer while checking you out, suddenly, she is all smiles and pleasant chit chat. This makes your trip to the store more pleasant and you leave the store in a better mood. Wow! What happened?
Take Time to Chat
The thing that happened is that you took the time to acknowledge each other and exchange pleasantries instead of just getting your groceries checked out and paid for. You interact every time you come into the store but you never really interacted before.
Ask for Help or Advice
Let’s say, you decide to host a crawfish boil one day. This is a common ritual in South Louisiana. You have gone to many crawfish boils but have never actually boiled them yourself. It seems simple but you discover that you have a thousand questions. There is only so much that Google can tell you. You need information from a local person who can tell what to buy and where to buy it and all the little secrets that might not make it on the internet.
There is a guy at work named Bob who is an expert seafood boiler. You know because you have tasted his culinary delights at many company picnics. You have never actually spoken to him, and just looking at him, you always found him a little standoffish. Thinking you have no choice but to ask him how to boil crawfish or risk messing up your get together, you decide to approach him one day and are surprised to find out how warm and friendly he is. He seems to delight in giving you his secrets and advice and even writes the tips down for you. You realize that Bob was never standoffish at all, but that you projected these feelings onto him. Maybe, you were the one who was being standoffish. All you needed to do was speak to the man and you would have found out a long time ago what a nice guy he was.
Manners Make Life Pleasant
How many people do we encounter and think negative thoughts about each day when it is our own fault that we aren’t connecting with them.
We use the Christmas season as an excuse to act like we should be acting every day, all year long. If we always had the Christmas spirit, then there would be no grumpiness, petty arguments and fights.
Civility Shouldn’t Be Seasonal
Imagine a society where people were polite and concerned about the welfare of others all the time. How would your daily commute feel without encountering road rage? “Jesus is the reason for the season,” is an old cliché. I recently I saw the saying, “Jesus isn’t the reason for the season, sin is.” How true! God did send His son to earth to die for our sin. Jesus taught us to love, forgive, and to help others. And we need to practice what he preached not just in December.
Counteract With Kindness
When you go back to work on the second of January and someone is rude to you, how about turning on the charm and understanding instead of coming back at them with the same attitude? It would de-escalate the situation and might improve their mood just like the Walmart cashier did when she was friendly to you.
The Bible says to, “Let your light shine before others so that they know you are with God and will also serve Him.”
A Positive Attitude Will Change Your World
A lot of us live each day as though we are owed something. That’s not true. We are put on this earth to give back. You give back to the one that created you. He left us with the commandment, “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.” This doesn’t mean just at Christmas time.
Live this day as it could be your last. Live this day for Him and I guarantee that your life will turn around. Every day of every month and every hour and minute, second of that day…live it for Him and everyday could be like Christmas.
Peace comes from above. Accept it!