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Read the original article on Philly.com.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of reasons! You have the whole package. It starts a month before the holiday, give or take, with picking out a tree and decorating your home. Personally, I love when the radio stations begin playing Christmas music. The songs are all the same year after year, but every time they come back on, it puts a smile on my face. The songs will never get old! And no matter what activity you enjoy most during the holiday season, there’s magic in it all!
It’s wonderful to get together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The meaning often gets lost in all the chaos of shopping, gifts, traveling, etc.
I remember when I was a kid, we didn’t have much money. I was the youngest of seven kids, and we each had one gift to open Christmas morning. I remember having parties at the house with all of my uncles. The beauty of this was getting together, eating great homemade food, singing songs around the Christmas tree, and making sure we paid the proper tribute to the birth of Christ. It was so heart-warming and so much fun just being together as a family. It was just incredible. I think that’s what Christmas is meant to do, and that’s the way Jesus Christ would have wanted it.
Most of my articles revolve around my thoughts, reflections, and quality of living. At this time of the year, we must take into consideration every individual’s personal battles. Some enjoy the season, make the best of it, and welcome it with open arms. Others may not have the best memories or feelings toward this time of year, as it may not have been a happy time in their lives.
I think what Christmas brings to everyone, is making you live in the present moment, and there is a lot you can enjoy in that. Everyone is truly free to celebrate how they wish. Some people consider friends as family, and celebrate with them. Many have lost loved ones; choose to celebrate and remember the happy times you’ve spent together as a tribute to your loved and lost. Make it special in your own way.
For those of you that struggled through 2013 and can’t wait for the holidays and the year to come to a close, take a good look at your attitude. Walt Disney once said, “That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don’t remember what it’s like to be 12 years old.” Become a child. Focus on what it was like when happiness was a focal point. Allow this time, which is meant to foster happiness and joy, to consume you. Wake up on Christmas morning and run out to the tree with your children to see what Santa brought them. Go to midnight mass and thank God for your health. Focus on just one positive thought, and you’d be amazed how quickly you could rekindle the positivity.
Life is not always pleasant, but looking back on the excitement that the holidays may have brought you at one time and allowing yourself smile about it, will help you push forward in so many ways. Surround yourself with some quality people and take a proactive approach to be happy again.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we took the random acts of kindness that we are willing to share around the holidays and live that way all year round? It doesn’t have to be much. You don’t have to think of giving back as having to make a big contribution, and it doesn’t have to be monetary, either. For an example, I was at Wawa a couple days ago. There was a young girl in her early 20s buying two cups of coffee in front of me in line waiting for the cashier. I said, “Young lady, you have a pretty smile. Share it with people, because it might be the only beautiful thing they’ll see that day.” And I paid for her coffee. I could tell she felt great, and I felt even better. THAT is what Christmas is all about. We do things for other people, and it is the most rewarding feeling in the world.
In my world, I’m more of a giver; not a receiver. I always try to put myself in situations where I’m in the position to make other people feel good. And I do that 365 days a year. But that extra effort you put in during the holidays makes the magic of Christmas come alive.
To all my fans and friends, make someone else happy this holiday season. It may be as simple as holding the door for the person behind you. The bottom line is making an effort to make others happy. Be kind. Be nice. Be warm. Be loving. One random act of kindness or compliment can keep a smile on that person’s face all day long. And that person will pass it on. Make sure you have something kind to say to everyone you come across. It’s a proactive approach to making the world a better place.