Enjoy the Holiday Spirit

We are in the home stretch of the holiday season for the year. Watching people do their last minute shopping brings about some interesting stories in the check out lines. My oldest daughter and I were finishing up our stocking stuffers and last minute gifts for my wife when a man put his items on the counter. One of these items was a nerf like toy for the father’s 8 year old, and we got into a discussion that this will probably be the final year he thinks Santa brings him all of these wonderful gifts.

The mystery to kids seems to leave so much earlier than I remember these days. I think we at least hit double digits in age during my generation before we stopped leaving milk and cookies for Santa and knew it was our parents who purchased the toys and games, wrapped the presents and put them under the tree. Holidays for me are about the children, seeing the smiles on their faces when they rip open their presents and profess genuine appreciation for all that they have out of life. Why do other kids feel so intent on crushing the imaginations of their peers?

I know families that will plan out what they are going to get their friends and family the day after Christmas. One of my relatives has made a tradition out of keeping us informed of his past 12 years with a special letter enclosed in their Christmas card. Whatever you do, keep traditions alive to pass on to future generations. Let go of petty jealousies that may have been magnified over the years, if not for the others but for the betterment of your own personal well being.

Even if you think you don’t have much to give, you do. Give of your heart, your soul, your mind, your kindness, your compassion, and your time. The little things will go a long way to any person or groups of people- whether it’s in a moment or over the course of a lifetime. My best memories surrounding Christmas come in hearing the compliments when a door is held open for a family trying to bring in all of their groceries or presents into our apartment building, or the office staff thanking my wife for the time, effort and energy she put into making them special Christmas treats for themselves and their families. It’s never been about accumulating material goods or possessions for me- it’s about giving what I can and when I can.

I have one more work night left before I head into another vacation. I plan on doing lots of little things with my oldest daughter, and seeing if we can get together with other family members to spend some time sustaining relationships. I hope you and your families have a safe end of the year, as I expect great things to happen for 2010. I challenge all of you to develop at least 4 new habits, hobbies or interests over the course of the next 12 months and report back to us on your progress. Buddy up with people and have them hold you accountable for all of your choices and decisions when it comes to the development of your new goals. There’s strength in numbers- and together we will become unstoppable!

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