In December 2008 Mister C and I were vacationing in Florida. This article was in the local paper, it was SO good, I naturally cut it out to save it. 2008 was a trying year, 2011 is as well. I hope you enjoy Mr. Warner’s wisdom as much as I have.
TWELVE TIPS FOR ENJOYING CHRISTMAS IN TRYING YEAR
… by Dan Warner, columnist for the Ft. Myers News Press, (this appeared in 2008)
“For at least 35 years, I have used the Sunday after Thanksgiving to write about how best to enjoy the Christmas season.
“I repeated it because the first year’s column had such a tremendous response. Many times, I merely repeat that first year’s column. Sometimes, conditions warranting, I add some new material.
“This has been a trying year, prompting new thoughts. Herewith, my advice for having a great holiday season:
- It is a cliché, but it is oh so necessary this year; moderation in all things. Spend less, eat less, fuss less. If ever we needed a respite from stress it is now.
- Practice being forgetful: Forget about the hellish two-year political marathon we had to endure, forget that your candidate lost, forget how our economy was botched by so many bigwigs, forget the past. This is a season for the present, and the future.
- Know hope.
- Play your favorite carols when you are home alone and pay attention to the words. They were never meant to be the background behind the clamor of some discount store.
- If a carol makes you feel weepy, weep. If it makes you want to dance, dance. Nobody is looking.
- While you are listening, bake a pie and invite that elderly woman or man, or even couple, from across the street to come enjoy coffee and a slice. Ask your guests to tell you about the Christmas they remember best.
- Does anybody read aloud to the family any more? Try it. Your TV-game, iPod-era children will be mesmerized. Try “The Night Before Christmas”, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, and O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” And, oh yes, Luke 2:1-20.
- Figure out a way to have at least one meal a day where everyone in the family can be present around the table. Talk about things – like how we are going to take it easy and enjoy one another this Christmas. Plan a little luxury for better times.
- Decorate. Christmas is not about hiding; it is about shining lights of joy.
- Have whatever party you can manage. Remember the shepherds (You did read Luke 2:20, didn’t you?) They started the partying tradition with song and dance the very night their savior was born.
- Find a way, however small, to bring some balm to this hurting world.
“Finally, one I have suggested each year and urge you to really try:
- On Christmas morning, arise early, get a notebook and pen, find a quiet spot and write down, either in list or essay form, all the reasons you have for being glad you are alive today.”