How to have a happy Christmas - Chapter 5
17th March, 20100 Comments
Of course, I have no idea how you celebrate your Christmas. It may be as I have suggested above yet still find it stressful. That may be so. I can only go on the findings of my research. But there is one saying that I find very helpful in both business and family/personal life. “If you keep on doing what you’re doing you will keep on getting what you’re getting”. So no matter how you have been celebrating Christmas, if it has been stressful and full of angst stop what you are doing and try something different.
One thing you might want to try is to stop thinking of Christmas as a time of anxiety and commercialism. Why not turn it into a time of giving, charity and remembering the Christ’s birth? I think one of the reasons we get an unhappy Christmas is because we expect it to be that. It becomes a “self fulfilling prophecy”. This is a term that is similar in concept to others such as “be careful what you wish for as you may get it”. An interesting concept when you think how much wishing is used at Christmas. Now I don’t know why but “self fulfilling prophecies” are only things which relate to the not so good stuff. However, when you get nice things that you wish for it is regarded as being part of the “law of attraction”. Don’t ask me why. It just is.
Many books are being written on this very subject. One of the most popular is by Rhonda Byrne called “The Secret” which is a bit of a strange title since it isn’t a secret anymore. Perhaps they mean it is the secret of things past. Who knows? Anyway, the basic philosophy as I understand it is that thoughts are supposed to have energy and this in turn makes us like magnets only in this case like attracts like and not the opposite as in metal magnets. However, if these philosophies hold up with regards the negative stuff as in “self fulfilling prophecies” there is every reason to believe it will for the good. The theory of this is based on a woman who suspects that her husband is being unfaithful and is going to leave her. She has no reason to support this however. No evidence. But believing it as she does her behaviour towards him changes. Becomes colder and so on. He, not understanding why, begins to distance himself from her emotionally and, because of the chilling between them does eventually leave her for someone else. Now this much is just a theory. However, I believe there is fact to support this. In 2009 the press were reporting on the likelihood of an economic recession. As a result the financial sector and economists started behaving and doubtless trading as if there was going to be one which in turn took us into one. A self fulfilling prophecy being made real. On the good side, in 1968 a group of children were all given the same test. Half were told they were unusually clever although they were in fact average. At the end of the year they were tested again and this half had improved significantly more than the other half. The power of suggestion is a powerful force.
Having read this I wonder if we can use this same philosophy on having a great Christmas. Seems to make sense. So many I have met have been saying the yare not looking forward to Christmas because……….and as a result they don’t have a good Christmas. I wonder what would happen if we all started saying we are going to have a fantastic Christmas regardless of what happens. It would be an interesting experiment to find out.
Of course with all that is going on around you it can be hard to maintain that attitude. That being so I want to look at a few things you might try to help you be so. Now I am not going to take the praise for suggesting these things as I haven’t come up with them. These are all things I have got from a book called “The Go Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann which I do recommend you read.
The first is to give value to whoever you meet. Now how might you do this at Christmas? Well if you are in business you might try offering something more than the customer is actually paying for. If in retail you might have plate of seasonal nibbles to hand. Is there an extra favour you could do someone? For example, is there an elderly or infirm person you know who would appreciate you taking them to the shops with you or letting you do some shopping for them? It needn’t be onerous or exorbitant. Often the simplest of acts can mean very much to someone who rarely gets helped.
The second is how many people you can serve in this way and how well do you serve them. I mentioned earlier that at Christmas it might be possible getting involved in a group activity. If you belong to a sports team or social club or whatever why not do some fundraising to get presents for children in an orphanage or children’s home? Or go carol singing as a group to a hospice or old people’s home ( be sure you’re good first though). These are just a couple of ideas. I can think of many more and I am sure you can too.
Putting others first might seem to be a virtue that’s a bit old fashioned. But it isn’t. It is still just as important today as it ever has been and what better time to do it than at Christmas? Well the whole year actually but Christmas is as good a place as any to start it if you haven’t already.
Of course, it being Christmas you are rushed off your feet with little time to do anything…or is there? Giving of yourself in something related to the second of these is very important and can be very beneficial to all concerned. Many charities look out for extra voluntary help at this time of year. Such charities include those who help the homeless. Could you spend some time doing that do you think?
Lastly, and this one may surprise you, is do you know how to receive a gift? “Oh yes” you say. Gimme gimme gimme and I’ll show you. Ah, wait a minute. Not quite as easy as that. Are you able to accept things sincerely and be genuinely grateful? Being gracious and grateful when receiving something can be just as hard as it is to give. Also receiving is as important as giving because one cannot be done without the other. On one hand there is the receiver who is very much a taker. They’re the ones who will bite your hand off to get something if it comes near them. Another is the person who feels almost embarrassed by it. A third alternative is someone who begrudgingly accepts something because they fear that now they have received something they must now give something in return. You can be just as much a scrooge in receiving badly as you can at giving badly.
There. That, I think just about covers everything I can think of on how to have a happy Christmas. I have no doubt I have missed some things but those will be things special to you that I don’t know. But this is all advice after all. There are no hard and fast rules about how you should celebrate Christmas. These are just some tips I think make my Christmas happy and might help you.
In saying that, whatever the time of year is that you are reading this, let me wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year. Ah, now then, prosperity. That’s another book I have been thinking about ……
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