Have yourself a merry little Christmas

It's holiday time again. For some, it's the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it is not. It comes with loneliness and sadness from memories of past Christmases. For some, it can be rough, but it can also be turned around and changed.

They call Christmas the season of giving. If you focus on the "giving" part, it can be a terrific time. I have a friend who shall remain nameless, who does something nice for someone else whenever she is having a bad day. It changes the path of the day.

I used to work for a lady that would go home and write down 100 things she was thankful for whenever she was having a bad day. I was stunned that she could find 100, but she did it. She was usually happy, and I wondered what her secret was.

Most happy people focus on other things when they get sad. They try not to sit in a situation that makes them unhappy for too long. They think about getting out of the mindset and feeling better. They think about others and how they can turn things around. Happiness is a choice. I agree sometimes it's hard to choose joy, but it can be done.

If you have children, teach them how to pull themselves out of a rut. We all go through tough times and emotional peaks and valleys. No one is exempt. The next time life gets tough, encourage a random act of kindness or send them outside to bring in a neighbor's garbage cans. Encourage them to hang out with someone new. Have a conversation with an adult, a real conversation that includes eye contact. Volunteer someplace where they can see how others live. Take the focus off of themselves and invite them to recognize how blessed they are.

This holiday instead of being true to yourself, presenting the best version of yourself, and focusing on what you have or don't have, do something for someone else and think about how it felt. Taking care of ourselves is short-lived. Feels good for a minute, but it doesn't last. Then we look for another way to take care of ourselves to continue the feeling, and it's exhausting. Visit with a senior. Allow someone to go in front of you at the grocery store or on the road.

Taking care of others comes with a good feeling that lasts longer. Merry Christmas.

Colleen Harding

President of The Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.   I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.

I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.   

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Volume 14, Issue 24, Posted 11:22 AM, 12.20.2022