“Are you ready for Christmas?” It’s a question you frequently hear (and maybe ask) this time of year. There are those who have been “ready” for weeks now, efficiently checking the items off their list, a little bit at a time. There are others who, year after year, leave it all until the last minute, rushing around up until Christmas Eve. There is still shopping and baking and card mailing to be done! If you are someone that feels stressed out during the holidays, slow down and relax. Remind yourself that it’s not the things that matter, but the people around you.
You probably don’t remember what Santa left you under the tree when you were eight. However, you may remember the fun you had playing with your siblings and cousins. Maybe your dad had a favorite carol he would sing. Or your grandmother made a delicious pie…or terrible fruitcake. For me, it was the smells and tastes of making homemade caramels. In any case, it’s something your family probably still talks and, possibly laughs, about years later. Those memories are what matter. Make new ones this year with your family and friends.
When you do take the time to look around you, you may also notice those that are less fortunate. President Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Funny that when we compare, we usually look to those who have more than us. If we look in the opposite direction, though, we can be moved to make someone else’s Christmas a little merrier. When our Precision Plus team members got together in support of the Angel Tree and local food banks, I can guarantee they felt the true spirit of the holidays.
We can be more giving to others without spending a dime. When you are out and about, look people in the eye; smile at strangers. Put down the cell phone and be engaged. Say “hello” and “please” and “thank you,” just like your mother taught you. When we are in a hurry and feeling stressed, we tend to forget those little things that matter a lot. Again, kindness costs you nothing. Give all the people around you your time – it really is the most meaningful gift.
The next time someone asks if you are ready for Christmas, don’t bristle with anxiety. Honestly answer, “Yes.” You might even chuckle to yourself at the oddity of the question. Presents and cookies and decorations are fun, but ready or not, Christmas comes. Just be open to creating memories and enjoying the presence of others, and that will be enough.
I must admit, I am in that “last minute” camp and still have many boxes to check on my list. The holidays tend to sneak up on you when you stay as busy as we have been fortunate enough to do this year. We have much to be grateful for at Precision Plus, and I plan on sharing our 2017 wrap-up next week, as well as an outline of the exciting developments that lay ahead in 2018. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Mike Reader, President