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.”
I hope I can keep all his suggestions in mind, I hope I remember to follow them.
I also hope your Thanksgiving was filled with the blessings of family and friends! (mine certainly was!)