12 Dec A Positive Christmas
So, it is nearing Christmas, once again. Who among us is saying “HO-HO-HO” or “NO-NO-NO”?
Several years ago, I went through a phase when I was feeling negative about it all. I felt that Christmas was showing the ugly, greedy side of humans, and allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the commercialisation of buy-buy and want-want. I knew of some who were feeling pressured to conform to gifting by going into debt – just to feel they were part of the Christmas spirit.
My negative attitude developed against a backdrop of awareness of the enormous suffering in many places in the world. Little children neglected and alone, animals discarded as if they were commodities to be bought and sold to please our whims, and the sense of isolation of the homeless everywhere. I felt despair for them all and somewhat helpless to make a difference. How could I enjoy my Christmas with all that? Sure, I gave to charities, but that was not even a drop in the ocean.
I had a difficult time with myself over that dilemma and kept a brave face of Christmas joy for those that seemed to really love it all: the parties, the food, the pressies and the holidays. I wondered if they knew that much of the populations around the world never had the opportunity to experience that. But slowly I started to realise why it was OK and even important to feel the joy of Christmas. I hated feeling negative as it was not my style at all anyway. I realised, these people around me were my family members, my friends and colleagues. They deserved better.
I valued their presence in my life, I felt enriched that they embraced me with love and when they gave me food or gifts, I appreciated how they enjoyed giving. How could I deny them all that joy? So, I turned my thinking around to embracing all I have with much gratitude-for every opportunity and comfort in my life. I only needed to keep the love and joy extending beyond me by being positive and uplifting. There was, after all, far too much misery and sorrow in the world. Why contribute more? How dare I not show appreciation for what I have? Such a neglectful attitude.
So that is my choice now, to see Christmas as a time to pause, from a busy rush around year, to make more time to share with loved ones, to reflect on the experiences that helped me grow and build more memories. I can find ways to help put a smile on someone’s face, a child, adult or animal. I know it is important to add to the light that our world needs right now. There is always a way to do that. I also owe this view to the many who are feeling like they have little to look forward to.
Sure, the shop keepers do sell for profit, but they are earning a living as they provide items for buyers to offer gifts to others. The stores, while commercial in content, encourage a spirit of joy, and wonder, with their decorations, colour and music. Plus, there are opportunities to offer gifts to charities that are set up around shopping centres. Caring sincere individuals do their best in many ways. One kind act such as inviting a lonely neighbour to share a Christmas meal or offering a simple smile to someone can help heal in many ways and that demonstrates the best in us all.
Whether our Christmas embraces a religious theme or not, we all can share in the spirit of spreading love and peace to our ailing but beautiful earth. By presenting as joyful and positive, we can help uplift those who may not be feeling the same way. Even the ritual of Christmas decorations helps promote the positive energy further. It might only be pretty coloured chains of crepe paper on a gum tree branch or a special display of some significant religious imagery. Whatever the creations, meaningful and appealing surroundings can help soothe a weary soul.
Above all, with thoughtful and caring intentions, on many levels, we can enhance the environment by infusing more joy into the atmosphere. So, I will embrace the spirit of Christmas as joyful, as I pay it forward so that loving energy extends out to my family, my community and my world.