Christmas – It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also one of the busiest times of the year for a lot of people. The malls and streets are full of people heading to Christmas parties, shopping for that perfect gift for a loved one, taking their little ones to pose with Santa and all sorts of other holiday happenings. The aisles are crowded, the roads are busy (and often slippery) and we are all in a hurry to get things done. We are so focused on getting ready for Christmas that we tend to forget things – things like manners and common sense – at home. It’s ironic (and a little sad) that in our quest to have the best Christmas ever, a holiday all about peace and love, we often treat each other like we don’t have an ounce of caring in our hearts. Sometimes it’s important to slow down and think about what you are doing, how you are acting and how it is impacting others.
Christmas is a very stressful and even depressing time for a lot of people and there are times the tiniest kind or thoughtful gesture can make a world of difference to someone who really needs it. Here are a few really simple things you can do to not only make the holidays brighter for others but also for yourself:
- When you are going through a door, look behind you to see if someone else is coming before you just let that door slam in someone’s face. It doesn’t matter if they have their hands full or not. And if it means standing there for an extra five seconds, stand there for an extra five seconds. Wherever you are going will still be there.
- If someone holds a door for you, look at them, smile and say “Thank you.”
- If someone behind you are the checkout has a handful of items and you have a cart full, let them go ahead of you. They will probably be done before you even have your cart unloaded.
- If someone lets you go ahead of them at the checkout, look at them, smile and say “Thank you.”
- Smile. Putting a smile on your face will not only improve your own mood but the mood of those around you. When your smiling the whole world smiles with you.
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes and be compassionate. We all have bad days and although it’s best not to take our frustration out on others it really does happen to the best of us. Try to remember that.
- When you are driving home at rush hour and another driver is signalling to get into your lane, let them in. It’s not a race.
- Be charitable. Giving feels good. Whether it’s making a donation to your local food bank, adopting a family for Christmas, tossing a loonie into the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle, or volunteering your time at a shelter or gift wrap station to support a charity, giving back is a great way to feel good about yourself and others.
- Pay it forward. For every kind little gesture that someone bestows on you pass it on.
It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit. ~ Isabel Currier.