It’s 2013 – a new year. Over the Christmas holidays I love listening to the music – I am still playing many of my favorites. One of the all-time most inspiring songs for me is John Lennon’s “So This is Christmas”. The lyrics have the line, “So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.” Every single time I hear those words, I stop to think, “What have I done?” Have I been kinder? Have I been more compassionate? Have I shown more patience toward others?
I consider myself to be a nice person (my filter). I like to help other people and will bend over backwards to be agreeable and giving wherever I can. My husband would say that I give “too much”! So, what’s the problem? Isn’t it good to be giving and gracious wherever possible? The problem is that when we give out of a feeling of guilt or responsibility, and not from the heart, we can end up feeling resentful.
As I was thinking about my next blog and listening to Christmas music on the radio, I heard an advertisement from the head of a media firm. He was saying a public “thank you” to his employees, his customers, members of the military, the police and fire departments and others. He had a list of people in his world whom he wanted to recognize.
I have to admit while I love the holidays, I hate the holiday crowds and the bad feelings that seem to circulate at this time of the year. Going to the mall is a nightmare – no parking spaces, people pushing everywhere and fighting for a bargain as if it will make the difference in their lives. I listen to the advertisements for the “perfect” gift and I can’t help but think about the families and children who watch it all but can’t participate in it due to financial or other constraints.
I love this time of the year – preparing for the holidays. I especially enjoy shopping for less fortunate children, and volunteering my time. But when I am alone my most favorite aspect is listening to the Christmas music. We have a radio station that started playing all holiday music the day after Halloween, which is fine with me! One of the songs I really like is often sung by Amy Grant, “Grown-up Christmas List.” She sings about all of the things she’d like to have for Christmas – love, peace and an end to hunger.