It’s Christmas! Or, it’s the Holidays! It’s Whatever-You-Celebrate day, yay! Should I just pick one and run with it? Nah, I’m not going to limit myself to one positive sentiment when there are so many to choose from. Besides, they’re all good vibes. Happy vibes. Sweet, scrumptious, and delectable vibes. Today is a good vibes kinda day because it’s sparkly, shiny, and jolly.
For the cynics, scratching their heads and getting ready to grumble, I’m not trying to be politically correct. I’m wishing you well. I’m hoping you have an incredible day. Also, yes, I’m covering my bases and doing my best to make sure no one feels left out because it’s a good day to be kind.
There’s more than one holiday being celebrated right now, and that’s pretty amazing. It’s cool to think that so many of us, from many different cultural and religious backgrounds, are choosing to put our worries aside and enjoy this one day together. Metaphorically speaking, because you know, the time-space thingy’s are muddlesome. What’s even cooler is that we’re all, regardless of our traditions, wishing each other happiness, joy, and merriment.
It’s the one time of year where we can look a stranger in the eyes and use the words merry or happy. We can do that without getting strange looks, and no one crosses the street to get away. Better yet, no one calls the special van, the one with padded walls, because they think we’re taking a very different kind of trip.
I’m not saying that’s ever happened, personally or otherwise but, when I’ve tried to employ merriment in July, I get looked at. Even in Canada, where saying good morning to someone on the street is the norm. If you go further than that? Well, you could try saying merry Friday to you, my good person. There will be a frown, a stutter, and a mumbled, mornin’, but there will be a leery look.
During December and the first couple weeks of January? Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! You can say it loud, proud, and most people will chuckle and return the favour. Their exuberance might not match yours, but the sentiment will be returned.
And I love the sentiment! I’m wishing you happiness and joy. Oh, we all need more of that in our lives. Or, is that just me?
That’s why I don’t care if you say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukah, or any other variant. We don’t need to share the same religious or cultural heritage for the spirit of kindness to mean so much. You’re taking time out of your busy life to wish me well? Thank-you! That’s so sweet of you, and I wish you all the best life has to offer.
Sure, these simple expressions have become a bit of an automated response. The lights go up, Rudolf is inflated on the lawn, and the animatronic Santa moons the neighbours with a ho ho ho. We flip that mental that switch, and the words come out of our mouths without us giving it much thought. Still, if the spirit isn’t there, the words are said with a grumble, and I haven’t heard a lot of that going around. Most people, despite the year we’ve all had, say it with an ounce of cheer.
I like to think that small measurements speak volumes. It reminds me that I shouldn’t underestimate people and their good hearts. I shouldn’t undervalue the incredible fortitude of the human spirit, either. After the year we’ve had? We’ve been pushed and pulled to our breaking point. Oh, and don’t forget the tossing and tousling. This year has been a beast of burden, but we still manage to find a reason to celebrate.
In my ever so humble and diminutive opinion? I think it comes down to a simple necessity that’s universal. It’s something that’s often undervalued and, when it’s shown, it’s met with surprise. It’s unexpected, which is a little sad. It shouldn’t be such a shock because, oh my friend, we all need it so much!
The suspense is killing me so, here it is. The one thing we all need but undervalue is: Kindness. Yeah, you saw that coming. When it comes down to it, we all want to be treated with kindness, and we all have a lot of it to give. It’s a part of our spirit, our genetic make up, and it’s as necessary as the breath we just took.
It’s easy to be cynical and, most of the year, it is my go-to dance move. If I wanted to show off my skills, I could point out the flaws in my logic because there is a long list of people who put the Scrooge in the McDuck. *Cough* Politicians *Cough*. They would seemingly disprove my thesis in a single leap, and they would do it spectacularly.
Be kind? Okay, sure, Baby Smurf. If that’s the best you’ve got, I’m going back to the real world.
No! Wait, it’s Christmas or the holidays or…Whatever you celebrate. I can be a little Polly-Anna-ish right now. Every other day of the year, fine, roll those eyes, but not today, my friend!
No, I’m putting those dancing shoes in the closet and leaning into the idea that all of us, at our core, are kind, caring, compassionate people. Some more than others, sure, but the ability to give and receive kindness is universal. The need to give and receive basic decency knows no bounds. It’s in our programming! So, why does it take one holiday to let it flow without restraint?
I can’t answer that for you, obviously, but I have my reasons, or excuses if you prefer. I get busy, and I’m often lost in my own head. My problems stack up, and so do my worries. They act like blinders, and all I can see are my own woes. I start to feel like I’m alone, and I forget that there are so many of you out there, struggling too. When I do that? I’m not as kind as I would like or want… Need?
Then the season of giving comes around, and it forces my attention outward because, you know, it’s sparkly. Oo, shiny too. Once a year, the blinders come off, and I see you standing there with the same struggles, worries, and burdens. I’m reminded that I’m not alone, and if I look around me a bit more often, then I’d be kinder to myself, you, and that grumpy cartoon duck.
That’s the beauty of Christmas, or whatever you celebrate this time of year. It’s not the decorations, the big guy in a red suit, or the presents. The real magic is the reminder that we’re a part of a community so, we’re never really alone. It’s the simple connections we make when we wish each other happiness and merriment. It’s that moment of kindness when we genuinely wish good tidings to all humanity, our difference be damned.
So, my dear reader, I am wishing you merriment with all the sincerity I can muster. I hope you have an incredible day, and you find some joy in whatever way you choose to celebrate this season. I wish you happiness, and more than anything, I hope the new year will reward your kindness in abundance.
I’m sincerely wishing you, your family, and all the people you love and cherish all the blessings in the world.
Merry…Whatever you celebrate!