It's that time of year again...are we preparing for festivities, parties, gift-buying, wrapping, and giving, sending out cards, going to parties, or preparing for our Savior to reside in our hearts? How do you best spend this time? What feels the best for you? It is often said it is a time to "WAKE-UP!" and get ready, feel alive, and put into action the feeling of peace, joy, love, and giving! How can we do less, to feel more? Does this make sense? Do less to feel more? When we are so busy and consumed with all the holiday happenings, we tend to feel stressed, tired, crabby, and maybe even numb. Doing less and saying no to all the hustle and bustle can actually allow us to feel more, or at least feel what we want to feel-joyful, charitable, kinder, and calmer. How do you choose to feel this holiday season?
Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about asks our friend Charlie Brown. So in the spirit of Christmas, I am not going to write about advice or what my view of relationships are but instead focus on what's upon us..the spirit of Christmas. The magic of the holidays are in the air and it brings people together like nothing else we know. Enemies become friends after a few drinks at the company party or around the Festivus Pole. Grinch's hearts will grow three sizes when embraced by the power of giving this time of year. What about the magic of mistletoe that allows all of us to feel a little giddy, get a little lucky and steal a kiss from someone that you never thought possible. Now that's my idea of Christmas Stollen! Speaking of, if you are thinking of passing that off as a holiday treat, I WILL report your bread stolen because you should be arrested!
For most of us, it brings back memories of childhoods past, making gigantic lists, helping bake cookies and watching the timeless classics on TV. Schools would be decorated with the red and green rings we made with dull scissors that bruised our fingers, fragile (it must be Italian!) paper and minty paste.
Maybe you went to a neighbor's house like I did and made trimmings of popcorn and cranberry for your tree with thread and a needle that you stabbed yourself with repeatedly. Or maybe you went to the mall to get a picture taken on the Big Man's lap and whisper a last minute gift in his ear. He asks, “How about a nice football?”. And your response is, “No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!”. All together now...YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT KID!
One of my fondest memories was waiting outside on a cold night for Santa to come around on the firetruck. I could hear the music and see the lights flashing from blocks away.
My heart raced with anticipation and filled up with such joy and excitement as he pulled onto my street. To see him wave to me and have his helpers give out candy canes as my dad handed them a bottle of holiday “spirits” will be something that will always bring me back to what being a kid at Christmas was all about. Appropriately enough as I write this, I'm listening to the only song that truly puts me in the holiday mood, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town by Bruce Springsteen. It gives me the chills every time I hear the bells shaking, Bruce talking to the band and Clarence and then saying “Everybody out there been good or what? That's not many, you guys are in trouble out here.”. The power of that song makes me happier than you can imagine at Christmas time. What else would you expect from a Jersey boy?
Most importantly, let us not forget this time of year is not about gift giving but more about appreciating your fellow man, not taking for granted what you have and giving back in any way, no matter how small it might be. Every gesture done in good faith this time of year is magnified tenfold because there are so many who won't have an opportunity to experience what a real Christmas should feel like.
Therefore, take a moment to be thankful for your health, your family and your friends who support you year round. In doing so, it just may inspire you to do something great and show others what the Christmas spirit truly means to you!
Sean Michael Kehoe is a certified personal trainer of ten years who owns and operates Transformations By Sean Michael, a fitness and wellness solutions training company. Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, he holds certifications as a Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist and Golf Fitness Specialist.