Spread cheer all year
By Theresa Blume
Well, it is the week before Christmas, and my cards are not mailed. My presents are not wrapped, and in fact, not all of them are bought. My house is partially decorated, but the treats are not made.
OK, I admit I made a couple, but I needed to eat them for energy to finish my Christmas preparations. Now I am out of treats and energy.
I think I finally figured out what is wrong with this situation. We are trying to make up for the entire year in less than a month. We are supposed to connect with family members we do not talk to all year and show gratitude towards those who deliver our mail, shovel our sidewalks, teach our children, and put up with us at work every day.
Plus, we are making homemade treats and nice dinners and decorating to show that we can compete with the homiest home. On top of that, we are trying to buy presents to fill the space underneath the tree so that our kids will not notice the void we have left by being too busy most working days.
Unless you have super powers, you cannot do in a few days what should have been done throughout the year. Suddenly, we are all stressed out, cramped for time to do everything in our few spare hours, and many must work longer hours during December.
While we are out shopping for gifts we struggle to afford, the bell ringers are out there to catch us at the doors because, after all, it is Christmas.
Charities are asking for end of the year donations. People are expecting that you suddenly have time to volunteer. You are expected to go to parties even though you have not attended one meeting or family event all year, but, hey, it is Christmas. So now you not only have to make another treat and buy some extra presents, but you have to get a new outfit to boot.
I would like to propose that instead of one day to celebrate Christmas, we wake up every single day and say, “It’s Christmas.” That way we could spread out the gift giving, the volunteering, the donating, the decorating, and the spending, and maybe we would actually have attitudes of joyfulness and love without the pressure to do it all in one day.
We could invite family over for dinner and give gratitude to those who help us out at different times of the year, and the bell ringers could come along after we get our taxes, and we could send cards any season.
We could go caroling when it is warm, visit nursing homes, and have company parties when it is more convenient. Then on Dec. 25, we could simply enjoy the day and contemplate the reason for the season without all the outside pressures.