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Getting perspective on harried holidays
by BY SHAIN GILLET
Dec 08, 2012 | 1352 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LOUISE R. SHAW
LOUISE R. SHAW
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It’s no small task we give ourselves every Christmas.

Our goal for the holiday event is only just to make everyone in our sphere happy.

And so we spend the month decorating, shopping, baking, writing, sending, wrapping and hoping.

It’s work, from start to finish. Work already added to a full schedule that includes non-negotiables like doing laundry and preparing (or when necessary, purchasing) dinner.

Those who think women start too early don’t have a grasp of what all they have to do.

So here’s an idea.

While we’re working so hard to make everyone else happy, we can be happy ourselves. Yes. 

Maybe you’re one who’s already there, but it might not happen for some of us in the natural course of things. We may be too hurried. And harried.

So let’s just all make a conscious decision right here and now that decorating, shopping, baking, writing, sending, wrapping and hoping is fun.

That giving, in these myriad ways, makes us happy.

Sometimes what it takes is perspective.

The young wife in O’Henry’s Christmas masterpiece, The “Gift of the Magi,”æwas anything but happy when the gift she had sacrificed for in the only way available could no longer be used.

She was a mess of tears, as I recall, when learning that her husband’s sacrifice also appeared to be for naught.

But it wasn’t at all wasted. Because of the message it sent: That each would give even their most prized possession to make the other happy.

George Bailey, in the cinematic Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was unhappy from the start. Nothing had gone his way through life, everything seemed set against him. 

The magic that happens comes as he gets perspective from his family and friends. The epiphany that made him happy was to understand the impact he had had on others.

OK, look at Rudolph. Once he was needed, he was happy.

The perspective that giving what we can, being what we are, can make us and others happy can make a difference. 

Maybe even when we’re standing in line or worrying about finding that one perfect gift or wondering if it can all be done.

Perfect gifts are over-rated. Gifts that say someone loves you and was thinking of you long enough to get something they hope will have meaning to you, are reason enough to celebrate.

I have a gift to give that will make me and, I hope, others happy. If you’ve made it this far in this column, you’re invited to Lamplight Art Gallery, 170 S. Main in Bountiful for a complimentary copy of my musings on family, In This Together, or on education, Keep the kids away from the power tools. Come on Dec. 20 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, know you are needed, you are respected and you are appreciated by someone, somehow. Me, at the very least.

And even if it’s hurried and harried, we can make ourselves a happy Christmas.

Let’s do this together.

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