Tuesday, July 5 2022 - 2:37 AM
Christmas ornament on tree
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Christmas All Year Long

I’ve always loved the Christmas season, not so much for the gifts as for the spirit it brings.

I always enjoy all of the externals—the lights, the decorations, and the local festivities. And I delight in the yummy treats and food, and of course, the presents.

But what I enjoy the most is the change in people (well, most people).

People are kinder. They smile more. They’re more thoughtful, accepting, and generous. Just a simple “Merry Christmas” greeting and smile soothes my stress a little bit.

And while Christmas has already passed this year, I always wish the spirit of the season could continue beyond New Year’s.

Over the years, my probing mind has wondered, “Why?” Why the change in folks at this one time of year? What is it that makes them act more—well, humanely?

Granted, not all people are kinder during the Christmas season, but it seems the majority are.

Why We Are Kinder

I believe we act differently for a few reasons: First, because our focus has shifted. Rather than focusing on “me, me, me,” Christmas causes us to focus on others.

Either we want to buy gifts for others, or we feel obligated to. Either way, it’s the Christmas tradition, and for that reason, we have to think of and consider others. Our focus is taken off ourselves and is placed on others as we think of gifts to get them, whether they are family, friends, or co-workers.

Another reason is that in keeping with the Christmas tradition, many people get a break from work. The daily grind comes to a halt, at least for a little while. As a result, the stress subsides for many, and consequently, we are in better moods.

Another thing that comes with this break is time to visit with family and friends. Even if we make time for family or friends at no other time of year, Christmas is often the one time of year this happens. Just socializing with those closest to us, in general, makes us happier—even if the family drama can sometimes be overwhelming.

Another reason I think people act differently is pretty simple—Christmas music. While I get that many people don’t listen to it, probably just as many or more do (at least you can’t avoid it in the stores while shopping). Christmas music is just happy and soothing. I mean, “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” are just some examples of upbeat or soothing songs. Even “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer” makes me smile and puts me in a better mood every single time. Our spirits are affected by the music we listen to, so if the season’s theme is upbeat and calming, guess what? We are more likely to be happier and more relaxed.

Our Focus

My final belief of why we act better at Christmas time: Our focus is on our Savior. There aren’t any other times of the year when our focus is so much on Christ. We reflect on His birth and His life. As we give gifts to others, we remember His gift of life to us. We become humbled by the thought and more grateful too. In turn, we become more Christlike in our actions.

I wish it could be like Christmas all year long. The world would be a much better place if our attitudes, continually throughout the year, reflected the thoughtfulness, generosity, happiness, and gratefulness of the season.

If there are any New Year resolutions this year, I think this is the one to have. I, for one, will aim to carry Christmas in my heart and attitude all year.

The presents are opened, the tree will come down, and the Christmas music isn’t playing, but the Christmas spirit doesn’t have to stop.

If you liked this, you might also like A Christmas to Remember 

Vanessa Pham writes from South Carolina.

 

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About Vanessa Pham

Vanessa Pham

is a wordsmith and author from the Southeastern U.S.

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