“Christmas Again?”

Phew! Can you believe it is Christmas again? I still feel worn out from the last Holiday season. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago we were putting away the decorations and returning gifts that didn’t fit, didn’t ask for, or didn’t even want. Bah! Humbug! Wait…did I say that out loud? Admittedly I can be somewhat Scrooge-like. I mean really, Christmas displays at the stores the day after Labor Day and that silly dog barking “Jingle Bells” on the radio since first of October? Enough already! I get the “. . . Jack Frost nipping at your nose and Tiny Tots with their eyes all aglow . . .” It’s just that it all seems overdone sometimes. The New Year heralds the back to work whistle and none too soon, if you ask me.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the Holidays and the appeal they hold. Everything is so festive with the lighted displays everywhere and so many Christmas music specials. Most everyone is in a good mood and the giving spirit pervades the community. Even us Scrooge characters aren’t as “Bah! Humbuggy!” as at other times of the year. It’s just that it all speeds by so quickly. I have to remind myself to slow it down a little bit, especially during the Holidays.
Life is short. With the perceived acceleration of time as we age it surely feels shorter and shorter, too. So it is important to squeeze every ounce of connection from every moment. Do something grand every day. Lean in and listen when dining with friends and pay attention to their pain and joy. Share the details of your days with friends and loved ones and ask about the details of their days. Not to get over on them, but because you genuinely care. If you have a talent or skill, practice and use it often. Come on, what are you holding back for?
Hug your kids and/or grandkids. Look around. Be aware. Get involved in their lives while they’re young or at least before they get any older. It is not particularly easy or comfortable, but you’ll realize soon there is no better way to spend your time and energy. The opportunities are fleeting. Take advantage of them before they’re gone.
Parents and elders continue to get older. Our daughter lost three of her grandparents in the span of 24-months. She was fortunate to have wonderful relationships with each one of them during their living years and talked to them often. Have you spoken to or visited yours recently. Have you told them you love them, gone to see them? They would love to see you, even when it’s not Christmas. Then again, it is Christmas and what better time is there for reestablishing and strengthening that bond? Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with the people that mean so much. Do it soon, because before you know it Christmas 2014 will be upon us. Be intentional about making those connections and do it all year long, so that come this time next year you don’t say, “Christmas Again?”

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