Santa’s got the right idea.
Be nice and get presents. Be naughty and get nothing. If only his clear-cut distinction could extend to adults.
At some point, the promise of a gift is not enough of a deterrent to keep people from losing their tempers – no more so than at Christmas, when ‘excess’ is the word of the day.
Pop singers warbling Christmas carols on an endless loop; overheated stores that leave shoppers juggling their puffy winter coats with purses and prior purchases; lineups at the food court, the bathroom and the parking lot; tiny, bright lights twinkling on and off with no regard for synchronization with each other or the beat of the aforementioned Christmas songs would drive anyone batty.
Add in the high-sugar, high-fat diet, alcohol – and the ensuing hangover – and the chance of crankiness is more predictable this time of year than a white Christmas. And sadly, the holiday season becomes something ‘to get through’ rather than celebrate or cherish.
The solution? Maybe we take some inspiration from the children and give ourselves a time out.
A walk through one of Nanaimo’s parks – fresh air, the smell of the ocean or the forest does wonders for the soul. Read a book, magazine or a newspaper. Watch a Christmas-themed movie – sometimes seeing others go through similar, or worse, circumstances is enough to put things into perspective.
Most importantly, focus on the true meaning of Christmas – or any holiday that occurs at year’s end – and simply be nice to the people around you.
Sharing good thoughts and feelings is infectious and you might leave more than just Santa smiling this Christmas.