Well, once again it’s Christmas time. Even though I don’t celebrate the holiday, I enjoy the feeling that’s in the air at this time of year. People generally smile more and wish you a Merry Christmas before the clock strikes twelve and they turn back into their usual, depressed selves.
Every year it seems that a little bit of the genuine Christmas spirit dies, the victim of obligatory gift buying. I think that maybe one way to bring back or at least hold on to some of that spirit is to follow some simple steps:
Money’s tight. Don’t go into debt. That’s not a good way to end the year or start the new one. People-pleasing isn’t worth it and it doesn’t pay well.
Family gifts come first, especially the kids. Not your boss. Not your desk-facing co-worker. Even if someone gives you a gift don’t feel obligated to give them one in return. That’s how this whole obligatory gift giving mess got started in the first place. So just say thank you. If they don’t like that they gave you a gift and you didn’t reciprocate, tough. If they’re spiteful and don’t give you a gift next year because of it, good. Then their gift wasn’t given from the heart in the first place. And now you can permanently take them off your list.
If you can’t afford a gift and still want to give one, make something. Cookies (they don’t have to be from scratch). A great photo of someone’s cat or dog. A recipe of something you baked that they liked.
Invite someone over for dinner or a cup of coffee. Friendship and some good conversation/company is getting scarcer in this stupid multi-tasking, can’t-miss-a-phone-call-
Have a party where everybody brings what they’re going to eat and drink. It doesn’t have to be a big party, you know. Use paper plates. Make sure you have enough toilet paper. I could make a “party pooper” joke, but I won’t.
Call a friend or relative or two you haven’t spoken to in quite a while. It’ll put a smile on their faces and one on your own, too.
Here’s a great idea. Send or hand someone a Christmas card or a card you made wishing them a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and good health in the coming year. Yeah, what a sucky gift that is, right?, hoping someone has a good time and good health. As you get older, wishes for good health count more and more.
Life got you down? Make a gratitude list. If that doesn’t work, turn on the news and be grateful you’re not one of the unfortunate, hurting souls who are on our TV screens night after night. I realize that there are a lot of people for whom these suggestions won’t be nearly enough, and for that I am truly sorry. Let’s pray for them. It wouldn’t hurt.
And lastly, here’s a really good gift idea: buy one of those pre-paid gift cards, or take a couple of dollars, wrap it up and give it to yourself. You deserve it. Treat yourself to something nice. Doesn’t have to be a lot of money.
Okay, this is not one of my funnier posts. But it is from my heart. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!! Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, maybe you should. Go out and have some fun, for heaven’s sake!
Til next Tuesday…