It’s that time of year where we tend to spread good cheer and give of ourselves to others. Everyone is usually all smiles and in good spirits but 2020 threw a wrench in all our plans. But despite all the chaos that happened, we just need to pause and remember that no matter how bad things get there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just need to have faith and keep hope alive. Hope changes everything! That positive vibe that has a tendency to be prevalent during the holiday season is something we need to carry with us into 2021. The more positivity we can spread, the more hope we can spark in others, the more faith we can sustain will make the rough times bearable. So spread cheer, spread joy this holiday season and keep it going until we can get back to normal.
Every day I marvel at the fact that I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. Yeah, we each have our faults, flaws and quirks AND we get on each other’s nerves, but at the end of the day that pales in comparison to the unwavering love and support we have for each other. Why am I bringing this up you may ask? At this time every year, I struggle to figure out what to get them for Christmas. I wrack my brain knowing that I have no clue on where to start.
So every year, I resort to doing what needs to be done. The whole process boils down to me being a covert spy. With a stoic expression, I nonchalantly ask them subtle questions about the things they look at in stores or online; narrowing down their top choices. Hours pass, days even before I press on. I ask them more questions without really tipping off my true intent; keenly watching their body language and gauging their emotions. I take into account every word spoken, making mental checklists about their likes and dislikes. And that’s usually enough for me to go on and buy their presents.
But there are also times when they don’t say much; even after asking prodding questions. So in this instance, I resort to using each family member as an asset into retrieving the necessary information I need. I endear them to my cause and then give them a set of questions to ask a family member. They can ask however they want as long as they don’t reveal my true intent. Surprisingly this tactic produces good results as well.
On rare instances when I end up with nothing, rather than buy them something that they won’t like, I’ll just sell out and give them money or gift cards. I don’t usually like to do this because there is no personal touch but it’s better to give something rather than nothing at all.
The reason why I go through so much trouble is because I feel like I need to get them something really special to show my appreciation for all that they’ve done for me. A simple hug or words of acknowledgement is usually the norm for most of the year, but at Christmas time, it’s the one time that I can really make them SMILE. Even though they always say “You don’t really have to get me anything, I’m fine”, I still want to show them my gratitude. Giving them something that they’ve always wanted really makes me feel good inside. If I can feel that, then mission accomplished.
The holiday season is well underway and a lot of kids are eagerly counting down the days till Christmas. That age of innocence is clearly apparent and I often reminisce about my own experience. But alas, we all get older and sometimes our focus tends to gravitate toward age appropriate matters.
My kids, who are now young teenagers, reminded me of this. Yes, of course, they still look forward to Christmas but the enthusiasm is not as vibrant as it was when they were in their single digit age.
The main thing that concerns them the most is when does Christmas vacation start and how long it will be. They can’t wait to take a break from all that studying and let loose…or for others, just chill and do nothing. Granted, we all hated going to school and valued those precious times away from academia.
I recalled the time when I was their exact age and fully remembered what I was doing leading up to the start of winter recess. Counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds; time ironically moves extremely slow when we’re young and somehow speeds up the older we get. Go figure that.
As I was thinking about this, a short poem came to mind that kind of summed up how I felt at my children’s age and I’d like to share it.
Here I am at school today
feeling down and oh so blue
I dream of being hard at play
in the hopes it will come true
Running, skating, playing ball
is what I’d like to do
but here I am thinking – that’s all
just stuck here right at school
To dream, to dream, only to dream
waiting for school to end soon
“My God! My watch! Oh gads I’ll scream!
I can’t believe it’s only noon!!!”
With the holiday season fast approaching, I can’t help but get into the festive spirit. Decorations at the office and at home were put up last week and adorned with the normal Christmas ornaments along with a few high tech modern ones.
Feeling upbeat and good-natured towards one another is at an all-time high; smiles are more frequently seen as well as laughter aplenty. Christmas music just fuels our inner core and harkens a time of simplicity and past innocence; when we believed that there truly was a Santa Claus.
Our somnolent consciousness reawakens and we’re transferred back to that very day when we were kids; eagerly counting down the days to when we can open all those presents under the Christmas tree.
I look forward to this time of the year, guess mainly it’s because of the positive energy that’s flowing about. Granted the stress of crowded malls, buying gifts, balancing our pocketbooks, finding parking and planning parties pop up but the vibe is just undeniable. We subconsciously strive to be nicer toward others and compassionate toward those that are less fortunate. It’s the season of “giving” after all.
I guess the whole point that I’m trying to get at is that there’s innate goodness in most of us; although we struggle with putting forth our best face throughout the year, this is the one time where it’s reassuring to know that we have the capability to be virtuous.
The world is in a pressing state right now, so we need to more vigilant in spreading this positive energy. Not just for the holiday season, not just for a day, not just for a week but for as long as we can.
So go forth and pay it forward; do everything with good intentions. Spread your smile, give a hug, lend an ear, hold the door open for someone, any little thing helps. Being charitable is a reward unto itself and the sense of self-satisfaction that comes from it is priceless.
Remember all the times when our family, friends, colleagues, strangers did something good for us – that feeling we got from that unselfish act…we need to reciprocate that back to the world.