#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Mele Kalikimaka, Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova, Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! Hristos se rodi, Feliz Navidad, Milad Majid...

However you say it, I hope you had a wonderful day. You don't need to celebrate to enjoy a season that involves a metric ton of holidays
(I will happily celebrate all the winter holidays if there's good food involved) and food (did I mention I like the food?)!

I strongly suspect that our ancestors were just looking for an excuse to use up the old apples and have a party in the middle of the long winter nights. What else was there to do? It was too cold for a good battle, too mucky for gardening, too depressing for dancing... feast days were the appropriate answer. I can picture leaders of various cultures getting together over the centuries and muttering the same phrase, "Ye gads! I'm bored! What should we do tonight?"

Since world domination was out of the question the answer was: Really Big Parties... maybe with presents? Doesn't that explain so much? I think it does.

Hopefully it means you woke up to shiny presents this morning. If you're Mom and woke up to some cute drawings, a new pair of socks (I'm writing this on Christmas Eve and guessing), and a partially eaten cookie than you may need to provide your own presents. May I make a few humble suggestions?

A Gift To Everyone: Respect - You don't have to agree with someone, or even approve of what they're doing, to respect them. People are going to make choices that make your eyes cross, let them. Look for their good points, and agree to disagree when you need to.

A Gift To Yourself: Acknowledgment - Acknowledge that yes, you have a choice. We all have our bad days where we get trapped into the belief that we have no options. Unless you are sitting in jail reading this, yes, you have a choice. And if you are reading this from prison it's because of a bad choice along the way (yours or someone else's). If you don't like a situation, change it. Make a choice.

A Gift to The Future: Education - Donate books to the library, volunteer for a literacy program, sponsor a child's education, help someone prep for the college entrance exams, discover a new species... encourage education for everyone.

A Gift to The Planet: Hike - Get out of the car and explore your native habitat. You'll never save something you can't appreciate. Stop halfheartedly recycling cans when it's convenient and start learning to love nature. Then go plant a garden.

A Gift to The Homeless: Love - Donate some time to Habitat for Humanity. Have a sandwich and water bottle in the car for the guy on the corner. Volunteer with a shelter or food kitchen. Adopt a homeless animal from the shelter, or donate some kibble to your local No Kill shelter.

A Gift to Your Friends: Listen - Everyone needs someone who accepts them as they are, and we all have the bad habit of turning our friends into our Rant and Whine Sounding Board. Whine less, and listen more.

A Gift to Your Loved Ones: Forgiveness - No one is perfect, let go of the grudges. Have a proper funeral for them. Write the grudge out on a piece of paper and bury it, or burn it on the bonfire. If you love someone, you look for the good in them.

A Gift to Your Significant Other: Encouragement - Happy couples all have at least one thing in common: they make each other better people.

A Gift to Your Children: Time - More precious than gold, video games, and cookies... time. We never seem to have enough. Make sure you make the time to talk with your children and listen to what they say. Draw with your teen, play cars with your toddler, turn off the TV and be there physically and emotionally. They need it, and so do you.

A Gift to Your Pet: The Vet - Yes, puppy hates the vet, he still needs his shots. If you love your animals you will see they have a healthy diet (that means meat for your local carnivores) and regular visits to the vet for shots and check-ups.

A Gift to Your Health: Garden - It doesn't even have to be a vegetable garden. Seeing fresh flowers in the morning is a proven mood booster. Grow some herbs for cooking, or some flowers for cheer, or some veggies for dinner. Plant something!

A Gift to Social Networking: Think - Seriously, it's a social forum. Before you hit send on that tweet, comment, or FaceBook post consider what you want to say. Then spell check. I mean it, "teh" is not a word. Do not use it. Or else.

One Last Gift: Life - Learn first aid, donate blood, become an organ donor, take a self-defense course. You don't need spandex tights and a cape to be a hero.

Happy Winterfaire, and a Merry New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment