By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

What’s Your Happy Christmas Thinking?

December 16th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 42 secs

We want you to think about what having a Happy Christmas means.

Dick the horse eats bowls of holly… fa la la la la…la la la laWell that’s what one little boy thought when he heard the song  “Deck the Halls.” Just as our tender two-year-old used to announce eagerly that “Farder Chritmet” was coming.

No matter how you say these things, the sentiments are the same. Christmas is a time for families coming together, of children getting excited, and of remembering the birth of Christ.

No doubt, it will be a happy Christmas for plenty of people across the globe. From the other side of the world to the homes in your street, there will be people busily anticipating presents, celebrations, and fun times. Yet there will also be people in despair.  Feeling life is unjustly hard, their loneliness will take on an acute edge over the Christmas period. So instead of experiencing a happy Christmas, they will be more focused on drowning their sorrows. For them, the whole Happy, Happy Christmas show is only a painful reminder of what they haven’t got. So on a big picture scale Christmas is both  a happy and sad time combined.

Of course, having a happy Christmas experience is wonderful. But I can’t imagine Jesus being happy about so much misery at the celebration of his coming.

Come the festive season, you don’t even have to be in an obvious position of difficulty to feel less than enthusiastic. Plenty of us have patches of despair amongst all the Happy Christmas preparations and frivolity. Then there’s the famous infighting amongst families that happens when people are cooped up together, drink too much, and are obliged to be “nice.”

To me, living in a hot Christmas climate, everything about this celebration is slightly on the surreal side. We are inundated with Santas and depictions of snow in the middle of summer when people think of beaches and barbecues (Having a happy Christmas Australian style surely is unique).

But what it teaches me is that the whole event is slightly out of context anyway and deserves some reflection. Getting uptight about it really doesn’t fit the theme of a Happy Christmas, does it?  Equally, the earnest desire to lay the Happy Christmas message on thick needs tempering too. The dates we celebrate for this special event are, after all, a random guess. Nobody has a clue which day Jesus was actually born. So the event is an invention, like so many other wonderfully happy Christmas traditions.

Deep down, I believe what matters is not the celebration, but the recognition. At its heart, Christmas is two things:

1/ It’s a Christian celebration.

2/ It’s a time to get together which has been well and truly been hijacked by vested interests.

If you’re not a Christian, then it’s just a get-together holiday that’s sometimes fun and sometimes not. Either way, it’s an event that definitely doesn’t need all the trimmings to be special.

But if you are a Christian, then you get the story, and you are thankful. Deep down, that’s all you need to know.

By all means, have a happy Christmas. But skip the pressure wherever you possibly can. It’s okay to be low-key and do things simply. If anything, that’s far more in keeping with the real deal. After all, the first Christmas Eve was certainly no extravaganza. Instead, do kind things for others. These are the best gifts of all. Kindness shared is something we can all do, which is just as well, given the whole world is crying out for it.

So put your thoughts toward small acts of beauty. That way, you can share your happy Christmas thoughts with all the generosity you like. Better yet, you can even make your Christmas care go beyond the season. As I see it, that’s the way the Maker always wanted Christmas to be.




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