What gives you joy and when’s the last time you truly experienced joy? If you’ve already come up with an answer, you’re on the right path. Most people, however, have to think about this for some time and unfortunately for many people they find it difficult to answer at all. So as the holidays are upon us we should seriously entertain this question because isn’t that what it’s all about?
As much as good marketing wants to make you believe it’s about buying the newest hippest gift, (so much that one would pepper spray or shoot a fellow shopper) or eating fattening, rich and sugary foods, (so much we feel fatigued, bloated and can’t sleep) or drinking ourselves silly, do you believe this is what it’s all about?
Giving gifts that will become replaced with the next best thing a month after will not be remembered for years to come — it’s the experience one has or what they did to help another that’s remembered amongst everyone. For some this can be a time of loneliness, bad memories of their childhood or tension amongst one’s family. What better time to self-reflect and release negative thoughts about others for if one exercises this they feel happier inside and less weighted down. Should it be a time to celebrate those we do have in our lives and be thankful for the memories of whom we mourn? For some it’s the chance to start afresh with a new year and its promise to bring new things into one’s life.
What it’s really about is joy — experiencing it, feeling it, giving it and welcoming it.
So while for many, our families give this to us for others it may be their religious beliefs and traditions and living out what they truly stand for. For some, it’s the time to volunteer and help others who have nothing and no one in their lives. Joy can be found in so many things this time of year from the sweet smell of pine while decorating the Christmas tree, caroling, watching the snow fall upon the trees, smiling at someone you don’t know, watching children laugh and play, sipping apple cider by a fire, watching a sunrise or sunset and mostly finding the joy within your own heart to help another. Some people find this by shoveling their elderly neighbor’s driveway, making dinner for a family with little or no food, volunteering at the many local shelters to assist people in need or by contributing to local charities, really there are so many ways to donate, give time, and simply help others around us feel joy.
Why not make Christmas time a staple for the rest of the year by living this way all year around, giving to another in need, accepting help from others, enjoying the simple things in life and mostly experiencing what joy is really about!