Have A Merry Christmas Anyway

Have A Merry Christmas Anyway

Statistics indicate that most of us love the Christmas Season and feel it’s truly the best time of the year. Gatherings with family and friends, attending a religious service, observing the anticipation experienced by the little ones, and hopefully having some time off from work all bring to us a positive sensation not experienced very often at other times of the year.

Unfortunately, figures also show that it’s not always a joyous time for many of us.

Besides glee, the holidays can bring many other sentiments as well – anxiety, sadness, depression, regret and a yearning to relive or experience the Christmases of our youth, to mention a few.

And then there’s the stress that naturally seems to come with preparing for the holidays. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read my oldest daughter’s new profile photo and statement on her Facebook page the other day. It reads, “It’s almost time to switch from my everyday anxiety to my fancy Christmas anxiety.”

Anyone who works full-time, runs a household with a husband and multiple children, and now has Christmas planning, baking and shopping coming at them head on, surely can identify with her humorous message.

The more modern world
However, it seems that during this particular Christmas Season, besides the stress of holiday preparations, we have some added obstacles to overcome regarding our happy state-of-mind.

The downright nasty rhetoric we read on social media and see and hear on the news involving politics, world leaders and just everyday people, would no doubt have my grandparents believing the world was about to come to an end. Yes, this new wave of “speaking your mind” might have some benefit in society, but it has to work on our overall thought processes and our likelihood to react negatively like few other times in our lives. It wears on us all.

Combine this new grandiloquence with some of the traditional gloomy Christmas sentiments and it is little wonder that some of us come to downright regret the onslaught of Christmas and the Holidays in general.

Along comes a different perspective
Ironically, amid the negativity that seems so prevalent in social media, another Facebook ** friend’s profile provided me with some positive insight that we all might want to consider this Christmas Season and to which, we might react in a more positive way. This Facebook friend’s favorite quote follows below:

A quote from Mother Teresa:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”

Hopefully, you will see the wisdom in Mother Teresa’s words, too. No matter where you are or with whom you may be speaking – no matter how you might be feeling physically or emotionally – no matter how well or poorly your day is going – and no matter how upset or happy others might make you feel; wish them a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, anyway.
Our society will be better because of your efforts, and so will you.

** Thanks to Amy Hite for posting Mother Teresa’s quote on her Facebook page.

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA