The Joy You Give Others…
Ever since I was a “spoiled rotten” little girl, showered with doll babies from scads of adoring family members, I’ve always loved Christmas with every ounce of my being. Granted, the six year old me had a few different reasons for this than the adult version of me, but make no mistake about it, my excitement for the season today is every bit as strong as it was then.
I no longer associate Christmas solely with dolls, candy, Santa Claus, and Barbie doll furniture. Well, actually candy remains, because I never outgrew my sweet tooth, but you get the idea.
Somewhere along the way, Christmas became more about Joy, Happiness, Good Will, Excitement, and Love. It’s a season where everyone seems happier and more eager to “give” than to “receive.” Maybe the two go hand in hand.
In the quote above, that’s exactly what John Greenleaf Whittier is suggesting: “Somehow, not only for Christmas but all the long year through, the joy you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.”
What if this is the most magical, wonderful time of the year because we are more focused on giving joy to others than on bringing it to ourselves? What if The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is actually more fact-based than we realize? If you’ll recall, the Grinch never found happiness until he stopped taking and started giving.
As a Self Help and Self Improvement blogger, my first thought is this: How do we take this extra special happiness and extend it from December to the rest of the year? How do we capture the joy of the Christmas season and make it shine brightly over every other season?
The answers actually lie within questions:
- Ask: What is our primary GOAL each Christmas? I can only speak personally, but mine is simple – to bring smiles to the faces I love the most. I want to see their faces light up when they open special gifts I’ve bought just for them. I want to see a return to childhood joy when they sort through their stockings. I want to blow them away with the Christmas meal, coconut cake, fudge, candy, and cookies. Told you, the sweet tooth is strong with this one. I also find myself more concerned with giving back during the holidays. Why is beyond me, but it’s more in the forefront of my thoughts this time of year more than any other.
- Ask: How often, during the rest of the year, do I focus most of my energy on making other people smile or bringing joy to others? Do I fall into a rut of focusing only on things that make me smile?
- Ask: What are special things I can do from January to November to bring smiles to others? What are ways I can go out of my way to show others how much I love them? What are things I can do to give back to others and help those who are unable to help themselves?
Making Christmas Joy last all year is as simple as asking the right questions.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
~ Joi (“Joy”)