There are times when I wonder if Christmas (the non-religious version) was invented because the month of December is cold, dark and the weather sucks. In the midst of people giving, enjoying parties, wearing ugly sweaters and getting into the festive feel of the season, we can easily find ourselves in a funk.
Several days ago, I was sad to see several friends who posted about their challenges in finding the holiday spirit.
There were times I felt the same way.
I remember the year I was going through my divorce, had abandoned my radio career and was broke.
Looking back, it seems I had mothballed my holiday spirit as well.
That year, a friend of mine called to say she was gathering some items for the needy in our home town, inviting me to help do a little shopping.
While she didn’t have a lot of money to spend, and I had virtually none, we hit the stores and got the best deals we could find.
I don’t think I’d ever bothered to stretch a dollar as far as we did that day.
I was nearly in tears as I realized how much we could actually do…with so little.
As crappy as my life seemed to be at the time, I found so much joy in being asked to help put together these meager Christmas gifts for people who truly had very little to be thankful for.
What I discovered was a group of people who were more appreciative than most.
It blows my mind to see people who seem to have every measure of wealth in the world being miserable while some who have nothing seem to share the most love and appreciation.
While I am still on the struggling side of building my career, I always remember that the joy of all seasons, not just Christmas, is being kept warm inside me when I need it.
Are YOU not feeling it?
Ask yourself these questions:
1) What am I thankful for?
2) Who can I reach out to help, even with just a kind act?
3) What can I learn by observing the world today (NOT in the media headlines)?
If you answer “NOTHING” to number one, please note that you have eyes that can see as you read, and had enough breath in your lungs to get through this entire article.
Not everyone got to wake up today. You were one of the fortunate ones.
You’ve got the recipe for the holiday spirit, believe me.
You might just need one more ingredient, which you’ll get when you reach out to connect with another human being in a meaningful way.
If joy was bread, you might have everything but the yeast to make it rise.
Get out there and connect until you find it.
You can be that ingredient for others as well.
You could be the only person who treats a store clerk with respect today.
You might be the only smile someone wears all day after you call to wish that person a good day.
You may be the only reason an animal purrs or wags its tail all day.
Seeking that holiday spirit?
You’ve already got it.
Share it with the world, or even just one person.
Then make more.