Each year at this time, I’m reminded of the time I was at the grocery store a couple of years ago just before Christmas. The place was a madhouse, packed with busy, stressed, uptight shoppers. Apparently, I wasn’t moving fast enough for one shopper, because she very impolitely ordered me to, “Get the hell out of my way!” I moved, but looked her in the eye, smiled, and said, “I guess we know who’s on Santa’s naughty list!” She didn’t appreciate it, but I got a good chuckle out of it!
I have a ton of holiday cheer. It’s not unusual for me to be playing Christmas music in the car, in my classroom, at home while I cook, in the bathroom, etc. I love my decorations and my tree. I love Christmas movies. I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t bore you with it again. But the most wonderful thing about about this time of year is the spirit. Yet, I try to keep the spirit alive all year with a positive attitude, cheerfulness, appreciation, and compassion for others. I don’t like it when someone tries to kill my spirit. That lady at the grocery store tried to kill my spirit. People who insist on taking the fun out of Christmas or other times of year are attempting to kill my spirit.
I used to stress about the holidays, trying to get everything done with my kids, my family, shopping, wrapping gifts, traveling, cooking, and also taking care of my students, planning fun activities for them as well. It was ALL on my shoulders. I felt such pressure to make it all perfect for everyone else, and I really didn’t take the time to appreciate the true meaning of love, sharing, giving, and togetherness……and I never felt appreciated for all I did. I have learned not to stress as much, and to let some things take a back seat to others. Because of my health, I’ve also learned to say no, and stop with a few unnecessary things. I’ve scaled back on my decorations a lot, but still have a houseful. So when someone else puts grumpiness, anger, negativity, or extra burdens on me, it makes me upset that they are trying to kill my spirit. I want to enjoy this time of year without feeling pressure to do what everyone else expects of me. I need to stay healthy, so I can’t do it all anymore. I have to slow down and take time to enjoy the spirit.
I decided today that my dog needed a new sweater for Christmas because his is looking a little shabby (Shhh! Don’t tell him). I went to the little shopping center where the pet shop is, but I couldn’t find any parking spots. I drove in circles through the parking lot, trying to find a place to park, for at least 10 minutes. It seemed like it was taking a lot longer. I had a couple of spots picked out, and was waiting for the other driver to pull out. I waited patiently with my blinker on, only to have someone pull in from the other direction before I could get in. I could have become angry and cursed them out, but what for? What good would it do? If they didn’t do it intentionally, then I might be ruining their spirit by getting mad at them. If they did it on purpose, I wasn’t going to let them ruin my spirit by getting angry. I eventually found a spot, and enjoyed a nice little (long) walk into the store to find the doggy sweater. When I got into the store, I was surprised by Santa Claus, who was taking pics with pets. He was sitting alone, and caught me off guard. I said, “Oh! Hello Santa!” He said, “Hello Little Girl. Have you been good this year?” I actually stood there, and thought about it for a minute. Then I told him I have! I’ve been really good! It’s been a rough year in a lot of ways, but I’ve been good, and I’m still full of happiness, positivity, good cheer, and holiday spirit. He wished me a merry Christmas, and then welcomed a couple of little dogs in elf hats onto his lap.
Others can choose to be negative, angry, suspicious, manipulative, mean, and critical. They can attempt to kill my spirit when they have none. Others can choose to rush, and put pressure on themselves to do everything, feeling stressed and drained of any Christmas cheer. Don’t force that on others who choose to be appreciative of life. Take your “Bah humbug!” somewhere else. Find your true Christmas spirit, and keep it all year long! Spread true Christmas cheer year round. It will most definitely keep you off of the naughty list!