Jason Ashley Wright: Turning the holiday ho-hums into ho-hos
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12/18/12 at 9:44 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Turning the holiday ho-hums into ho-hos
This sentence you're reading right now is the fourth version of what was shaping up to be - although quite unintentionally - a column of complaints.
It would've been yuletide-themed, in keeping with the season. But sitting here, dour-faced and hunched over my keyboard, contemplating dozens of things from deadlines to finances, weight gain to what I'm having for lunch, I imagined what I'd look like in a mirror - and rightfully shuddered.
It seems I'm showing early signs of becoming what I always dreaded as a kid: the Grinch. Not the literal, furry-green, cave-dwelling version but the spiritual one. And we just can't have that.
So join me on my little come-to-camp meeting with myself. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet while you're at it - we're going to channel some Christmas spirit.
I falsely blamed my non-festive mood on a warm start to December. Then I remembered I grew up near the Gulf Coast, so I'm used to warm holidays. Obviously, when Sunday night's cold snap came through, I had no excuses left.
Happiness, I recall my Dad telling me multiple times in my childhood, is what you make it. Or something like that. I get the general gist, and I realize - as with many things, the older I get - that he's right.
I'm ridiculously spoiled beyond anything I deserve. Not just having a roof over my head, and family and friends who acknowledge me in public, I'm also blessed to have myriad, ample opportunities to bubble over with Christmas joy 365 days a year - and, come 2016, 366 days. I'll be 41 by then. Hopefully, I'll also be more grateful and, consequently, wiser. Those two things have to be synonymous in our lives to be truly happy - to exude Christmas spirit.
Like the woman I read about in a Facebook friend's post this weekend. Apparently, my FBF was at a local restaurant and seated next to a gaggle of little kids. FBF didn't complain - kids are rambunctious and full of life, right? Wasn't like they were setting fire to anyone.
The woman in charge of the group paid for FBF's dinner, and that of her dining companion. Isn't that awesome?
Such seemingly random acts of kindness aren't limited to the holidays, of course; but they seem so much sweeter this time of year.
And we - at least, me - need to do more stuff like that. Doesn't have to be buying dinner for two strangers sitting on your left. It could be holding the door open for someone behind you, baking cookies and taking them to the neighbor you've only waved at the past few months when you're coming and going.
Or it could be a simple smile and a "Merry Christmas" to someone who's dour-faced and hunched over his or her keyboard, grocery cart or office desk. That one sincere salutation, small as it may seem, might be the difference between a sad person's ho-hum holiday and a truly blessed one.
After all, if the Grinch can go from stealing Cindy Lou Who's Christmas to carving the feast's roast beast, I think we're all capable of growing our hearts three sizes Christmas Day - and, hopefully, all other days of the year.