The other night I was reminded that the holidays aren’t happy for everyone. I spoke at a gathering of people who lost loved ones this past year. Imagine what it’s like to stand in front of a group of people like that and bring a message of hope and joy. You really have to put yourself in the place of the people who have faced life’s greatest challenge.
There were tears. Hugs were given and received. Small talk centered around caregiving, or what those following days were like, or how to get through this particular season. I was amazed at how most of the people in that group are carrying on. They are doing their best to push through and make the best of a radically changed life.
It reminded me (as if I needed reminding once again) of the many things in my life that bring happiness. I can vaguely remember times as a very young child when the holidays weren’t the happiest for me. It was nothing more than my own internal thoughts and struggles, probably born out of being a bit too much of an over-thinker. But there were a couple of Christmases that I had to work hard to be really happy.
Thankfully I outgrew that. But it gives me sympathy for those who need just a little bit more joy this time of year. I feel badly for those who are less than happy right now. So the following list is an attempt for all of us to find more happiness during these days. I hope this list doesn’t seem trite in the face of major trouble, trial, or depression. I see it as, perhaps, one small step toward a few more smiles, a couple of more laughs, and just a little more happiness for anyone who reads it:
- The twinkling lights on the Christmas tree
- Mail that’s more than bills or junk
- An Amazon package on the front porch
- Red and green M&M’s
- Cookies that are made only at this time of year
- A dinner party
- Jib Jab videos
- Seasonal foods at the grocery store
- Candlelight services
- Your favorite crèche on the mantle
- Purchasing the perfect gift
- Candy Cane Lane (or some sort of light display)
- Family coming from out-of-town
- Pulling out the Christmas books and reading them to the kids
- That one special ornament
- A full food bank for those who really need it
- Wish lists
- Ranger Station candles that smell like balsam fir
- A new arrangement of an old carol
- The wonder in the eyes of a child
I hope this list helps make your holidays a little more happy.
What would you add to it?