Have A Scrooge Free Christmas

Have A Scrooge Free Christmas
A Christmas Carol, with grumpy Scrooge and sweet Tiny Tim, is a reminder to everyone - big and small - how negative gestures or positive, innocent comments can make or break a person's spirit. When someone greets you with a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" do you respond in kind? Are your words and deeds and facial expressions reflective of Scrooge or Tim? As we embark on this Holiday Season, ask yourself: How do I want people want to remember me? Do I want to sit at home: alone, sad and uninvited? Do I want to give to others - even just a smile - in order to make another person's day a little brighter? These are questions you should ask yourself as we embark on a season where we as humans can truly make a difference in the lives of others...simply by deciding to NOT be a Scrooge.

Here are four suggestions:

1) Be Festive. Don't complain about how difficult it was to make your appetizer. No one cares about how hard it was to get to your destination, how hard you worked during the week, or how tired you are. This is a festive occasion so stay upbeat and stop complaining.

2) Be a perfect host. Read my articles "The Rotten Dinner Host" and "The Holidays and Being a Good Host". Be flexible. Yes, traffic sucks and your guests might be late. They may arrive grumpy and starving but, hey, they have arrived and that's what is important. Stuff burns and while that's unfortunate, being irritable isn't going to make it go away. Laugh it off. This is a party and we can all work to keep it festive. Pour yourself another glass of wine and don't stress about it. Don't make your guest feel like they are in the way, irritating you or if they had just done something different the brie wouldn't have burned. Accept the trials. Enjoy those who have graced you with their presence in your home and have a fantastic time.

3) Go with the Flow. If everyone wants to play charades, watch old slides, or just generally visit, then take part. Don't pull out your phone or hide in the back room so you can watch TV by yourself because that's what you want to do. This is a party. You are surrounded by a group of people. It's time to play the part of the guest who is enjoying the company they chose to surround themselves with. If you can't do this, you shouldn't come. Making yourself the lone bird in the flock just irritates the flock. But keep this in mind; while the flock may be irritated, no one is missing you. They are just seriously considering NOT inviting you for the next party.

4) Tip those who make your life easier. Your babysitter, hair stylist, house cleaner, milk man, landscaper, paper boy and barista do their jobs well in order to make a difference in your life. Are you making a difference in theirs? Would they be happier supplying their services to someone other than you? Think about it. Odds are they could easily survive without you. But can you survive without them? These people who you see once a day, week or month, work hard to help you look better, breathe easier and enjoy life more. If it wasn't for them you'd be insanely busy, with a dirty house and crappy yard. You wouldn't know what's happening in the world and you'd be in a perpetually bad mood because your double-tall, half-decaf, four pump, no whip, non-fat mocha wouldn't be nestled in your hand right now.

Finally, we live in a day and age where we can make our own hours, do what we want when we want and shut ourselves off from society if that's what we chose to do. That, however, is contrary to how society works. We are social creature. And if you have trouble with being social, staying away isn't going to make your life easier. It's just going to isolate you more. So when you are invited to attend a party, accept. Read the above steps and partake in the revelry. Acknowledge someone who makes life easier for you or greets you with a smile. Don't judge if something is "lame" or "boring." Those around you might be tagging you as the lame, boring guest because you just can't figure out how to relax and have fun.

So get over yourself, Scrooge. Have a Scrooge-free Christmas...or Hanakah...or Kwanza...or New Year.

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