It is called, “The most wonderful time of the year”, and it is. But, it is also the most stressful time of the year as we run around shopping, entertaining, cooking and getting the house ready for Christmas. Not to mention those of us in retail and all the small business owners trying to ship things out, keep customers happy and tie up loose ends for the end of the year. So often, though, it's not so much the doing, but the anticipation and the people that are involved in the “doing” that stress us the most. As a result, we all get a little short on the fuse and testy to say the least.
I tend to resemble so much of that person all worked up, anxious and stressed as we glide into Christmas Day and the end of 2019. It’s fun…but it’s not all fun. This time of the year brings out the best and the worst in people as we try to create our vision of what Christmas is to each of us. Just ask Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie!
Even through the chaos, I find remembering the true meaning of Christmas gives me joy, hope and a much needed sense of peace. It reminds me that a little kindness and a warm smile still go a long way. I have found that if I let the world get to me, it has control over me, and in turn makes me the person I don’t want to be. I have also found that when I have shown kindness, grace and just a little class, I feel better about this crazy world and the crazy people in it. Saying thank you to the Chic-fil-a server that has cars backed up around the building, giving my barber a larger tip than usual, telling the Target cashier Merry Christmas and good luck these next couple of days. Letting others know their efforts are appreciated, rather than expected, can make a difference in someone’s day.
Several years ago a pastor, Rick Warren wrote a book called, “ The Purpose Driven Life”, where the open line said, “it's not all about you”. Wow! That was a slap in the face and a needed wake up call in my life. I have carried that mantra with me as it does give me a sense of purpose, resulting in happiness. It helps me through the Holiday Season and other stressful times in my life by redirecting my focus to the needs of others, rather than own selfish problems. We all have crap in our lives that we are dealing with each and every day; some more than others, but I have found that giving myself to others and showing kindness in this crazy world has brought me a warm and joyful heart; and the older I get, the more that seems matter.
For those that know me are probably asking yourself, “ Who wrote this?” and understandably so! Like most of you, I struggle with being my best everyday and fail miserably most of the time. But, I have found moments where I have been my best, something bigger than myself. I have found joy and happiness in that moment, and that’s what keeps me going. I’m not saying these moments are what sustain my life, but rather what I live my life for and it gives me hope and strength to carry on.
During this Holiday Season there’s going to be stress at times… count on it, but my wish for you is to find moments and opportunities to be kind, forgiving and show the world it's not all about you. Share a piece of yourself with others this Christmas and see what happens. It will be the best gift you can give.
From the Lamb family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Joyful New Year.