Holiday cheer abounds this time of year no matter what holiday or holidays you celebrate. You tend to walk with a quicker pace, there is a sense of urgency in every move you make and there definitely is a noticeable bounce in your steps. Store clerks send you off with a smile and a happy greeting, neighbors wave hello when you come home at night and even the twinkling lights on decorated houses and front yards wave a greeting as they gently sway in the breeze (or gusty winds and blowing snow if you live in cold country). Life is good, or so it seems.
Do you ever wonder why life can't be like this all year long? Why people can't be just a little nicer to each other? Why there isn't always a bounce in your step? Why we can live so much more life during the few short weeks of the holiday season than the other 48 or so weeks of the year? It seems like a hopeless cause, or is it?
Good cheer comes from within. Good cheer is the result of thinking happy thoughts and focusing on making life just a little better for those you love, your family, friends and neighbors. Good cheer is the secret ingredient that is put into all the cookies that are baked, all the meals that are prepared and all the holiday parties you give or attend. Good cheer is found in the smiles of others, in the wagging tail of your dog who greets you when you come home and the smiling store clerk who gladly wraps that special gift you just bought to make someone else happy.
Even though holiday cheer seems a bit magical this time of the year, it really is quite easy to maintain throughout all 52 weeks of the year; maintain that is for self, not the whole world that surrounds you. You are responsible only for self although can greatly influence those in your surroundings through your own attitude and good cheer.
Begin right now by deciding that all of your good cheer and good feelings will not automatically disappear on January 1st just because the holidays have ended and a new
year has begun. Create a little "cheer reminder" and place it where it will be the first thing you see upon arising first thing every morning. Your cheer reminder could be as simple as a yellow sticker smiley face, a clown figurine or a picture of your favorite pet that is always full of cheer when you are around. Your little "cheer reminder" will automatically make you smile first thing in the morning so you will have a head start on having a cheer filled day.
Next, using a calendar, draw a smiley face on those days of the week that seem to be the most difficult for you to be cheerful. For some people it is always Monday because they have to go back to work, or it is five long days before the next weekend begins. For others it is Friday because they've been busy all week long but now that the weekend is ahead and they use this time to cram in all of the things they've put off all week long so they are exhausted by Sunday night. Or, they haven't made any social or fun plans for the weekend therefore they are dreading the time alone. Either way, choose your day and using a red marker, draw a happy face on those days each month that create a problem for you. Every time you glance at your calendar on those days and see a smile staring you in the eye, you can't help but remember to be cheerful and smile back.
And yes, there is one more suggestion to maintain your holiday cheer all year. Deliberately walk around with a smile on your face. It will definitely make you feel more cheerful. And, everyone that sees you will wonder why you are smiling. You can keep them guessing or share your "cheer" secret. Whether at work or at home, holiday cheer is contagious and spreads rapidly making anyplace you go a more cheerful place to be.
It only takes one person, you, to make yourself cheerful and spread the good cheer to others. Celebrate the cheerfulness of the holiday season and allow the joy to seep into you bones. It will last for days and weeks after the holidays. Continue that great feeling of cheer throughout the year by creating a "cheer reminder", marking smiley faces on your calendar and going out of your way to smile. The year ahead will definitely be more cheerful and filled with much more joy.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved