Christmas lightsWith Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas less than a month away, I still feel like I’m in total denial that the holidays are upon us. I also recently realized that along with that denial comes a lack of Christmas spirit.

Unfortunately, I think that happens to a lot of us. The holidays make our already overwhelming to-do lists grow into a perpetually smothering frenzy, topped off by the hyped-up expectations that seem impossible to satisfy!

I returned to work after dark one evening and the lights of downtown barely registered in my thought process. Have you been downtown after dark? It is beautiful! I caught myself being lackadaisical over the beauty of the season and chastised myself for my lack of joy. It gets pretty easy to get callused over by life, and we have to take responsibility for removing that callus and participating in all that December has to give.

Sometimes we need a little priming to get that joy flowing; many prepare by watching Christmas movies. We have a display in the library of some of the favorite Christmas movies for you to choose from, with more on the shelf. It is a method definitely worth investigating, and at the least, it will provide a nice break from reality.

We also have a display of Christmas books set up. If movies are not your thing, a feel-good book about Christmas might be just what you need to unleash your joy! Or, maybe music would flip the switch on, whether listening to Christmas music or joining a group of carolers who are spreading Christmas cheer.

No? Okay, may I suggest giving? Look around and set your sites on someone who could really use some happiness channeled their way. Plan, prepare, and see if you can be stealthy enough that you can anonymously dump a huge load of happiness and joy on them without the recipients ever knowing who did it. That kind of excitement will be forceful enough to dislodge nearly anything that is blocking your flow of joy!

There are a lot of celebrations that go on around the world during November, December, and January. My choice of celebration is the birth of Jesus. Now I know that December 25th is probably not the actual date that Jesus was born, and I know that there is a link, back there in history, to pagan holidays. The first time they found record that the birth of Christ was celebrated on December 25 was in AD 336. If my family only celebrated holidays on the actual day, we would never celebrate, ever! We know that it doesn’t matter the day; it is all about love, relationships, and being together. That is how I feel about Christmas!

So, if you don’t already have that Christmas spirit bubbling inside, chase it down. Read a book, watch a movie, sing a carol, tour the Christmas lights, help those in need, give generously, and be ever so grateful for all of the good in our lives!