Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday-Induced Happiness?

Halloween barely takes off its mask these days before the Christmas music begins. Glittering trees appear overnight in malls and retail stores, almost as if required as part of November 1st. Maybe all those saints decreed it or something.

We complain about this rush to Christmas, but have you noticed that a warm fuzzy blanket of good will descends at the same time? Maybe this is why we grumble, but we don't object too vehemently. (The one aberration here is the chaos that ensues on Black Friday--or maybe even Thanksgiving Day--but that's a topic for another day. Plus, some people are just crazy, no matter the season.)

People are kinder during this time. I've even had strangers step aside for me as we both approach a common check-out line. Whoa!! In July, they have shoved me out of my planted position in that same line as we purchased our fireworks. Creating a few more, actually. 

We smile more at each other, wishing the mailman, the gas station attendant, the bag boy a cheery "Happy Holiday!" or "Merry Christmas!" And we all seem to mean it. Movements to fill various voids for others in need pop up in front of stores all over town. People who don't give a penny to a pauper any other time of the year do so now.

The roads are not only less populated as vacations begin, our traffic-induced tirades and stress levels diminish, too. Perhaps some of the smiling that began in those areas already mentioned spills over to our vehicles, too. (Unless two of us are eyeing the one remaining parking space in the back 40 of the mall, then all bets are off, of course.)

Twinkling lights, beautiful music, gracious attitudes and helping hands--maybe we could stretch this season from one end of the calendar to the other. Even those of us who are not religious constructionists can identify with this holiday of Ho-Ho-Ho Happiness. What's not to love about peace and goodwill? Isn't that what we all want, no matter what shape our star is--or even if we have no star at all?

“There's more, much more, to Christmas Than candlelight and cheer; It's the spirit of sweet friendship That brightens all year. It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!”

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