Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent - Day 9

Advent - Day 9

"Regaining the Christmas Spirit"

Recently a reader wrote in and asked,

I have lost touch with that exhilarating zing I used to feel with each approaching holiday, each change of seasons.

Now I experience life as a never-ending but sometimes-changing to-do list, and that's sad.

I need to change that.

Any suggestions?

For many of us that is all too true. For a myriad of reasons, we find ourselves not “into” the Christmas spirit. It is not where we want to be. We want to enjoy the season, the music, the treats, and yes even the shopping. More importantly, we know how blessed we are, and how grateful we should feel and being alive, living in a free country, and with so much bounty around us. But for whatever reason we cannot seem to connect.

Hyperion understands, and he is here to help. Below I have some ideas to help bring you into the Christmas spirit. They are guaranteed to put a twinkle in your eye and a ho-ho in your heart. (Or something like that.)

Things you can do to get into the Holiday Spirit

Make a Christmas Mix CD

I know this sounds hokey, but you would be surprised how much fun it can be. Spending the time finding the songs from your past you used to love and then burning the CD will already put you in the Christmas spirit, and then listening to your mix CD on the way to work or even at work will clinch the deal. In fact, I bet your co-workers will all want you to make them a Christmas Mix CD too!

Give Gifts Unexpectedly

Buy a few inexpensive gifts—we’re talking very cheap here, just little things—and wrap them up and keep them in your trunk. Then, over the next 10 days, look for opportunities to give the presents to people who might really need them. Maybe it’s a favorite teller at the bank or clerk at the grocery store whom you always go to, or someone at the library or post office. It can be for no reason at all other than to make that person’s day. Give these small gifts away to people who would never normally be on your gift list, and see how you give them a boost, and how much it helps you. Sometimes gift giving can seem like an obligation, but these gifts are bought not knowing who they will go to, only that you have faith that the opportunity will arise to make someone’s day.

One time my dad was in a warehouse store looking for something and he accidentally dropped twenty dollars in one of the boxes. He called up the store that night and gave the clerk specific instructions where to go look. The man took the phone with him (it was a huge warehouse), and was unable to hide his annoyance at having to perform this task when he wanted to go home. Finally, my dad managed to direct the man to the right box. “Look inside.” My dad said. The clerk replied there was a twenty-dollar bill. “Merry Christmas.” My dad said.

Suddenly the entire exchange was completely different for the clerk. What had been the capper to a bad day became a great way to start his holiday. You just know that he told that story to everyone, and even better: the next time a customer needed extra help I bet he was more attentive.

You don’t need to drop twenty dollar bills into boxes. Even dollar store figurines (Hyperion’s favorite little gift to give) wrapped up in little boxes can totally make someone’s day, even their Christmas. Remember: they are getting a gift from someone they never expected to, and it truly is the thought that counts.

I hope these ideas help. If you have any of your own please feel free to share them in the comments, as we all try to get into the Christmas spirit.


Anonymous said...

I get more than enough seasonal music on the radio, thank you! But the impromptu gifts and $20 story are sheer genius.

Unknown said...

I loved your dad's story. I can just imagine the look on the worker's face.