Christmas Spirit

It’s Christmastime and, like everyone, we’ve been feeling all “the feels.” We’ve decorated our tree, hung our stockings, wrapped sweet little gifts for the ones we love, purchased the ingredients for our holiday baking, and made plans for a trip to spend Christmas Eve and Day with our children and grandchildren. Through it all, we’ve been humming our best Christmas tunes and settled in each evening to watch our favorite holiday movies.  I’ve had plenty of time to ruminate on an appropriate holiday message from me to all of you. And honestly… I was drawing a big, fat blank.

In past holiday seasons, I’ve written a lot about taking time to reflect on the past year, slowing down to enjoy the present moment, and the true meaning of Christmas. So, really… what else was there to say?  And then, like magic, the Universe handed me some inspiration.

I awoke this morning to a gorgeous, crisp Southern California Sunday, and over a delicious cup of coffee I decided to check my emails and social media feed. What a buzzkill. Several of my “friends” were snarling over a political issue, two high school classmates were arguing about a local ruling in my hometown, and a professional colleague was demonizing someone for their decision to not vaccinate their children. Then, I read a post from my dear friend who cited this quote by Steven Covey:  We judge others by their worst behavior and ourselves by our best intentions.

And boom… there it was. Thank you, oh Christmas spirit.

It’s the epitome of the Christmas message and spirit to suspend our judgment, open our hearts, and judge others less. But why does it feel so much easier at Christmas and so much harder during the year?

I’ll be the first one to raise my hand. I know I do this… we all do. We apply a standard to others harsher than the one we would apply to ourselves. Who among us has not been prideful, righteous, envious, selfish, tempted, glutinous, defensive, egotistical, boastful, or just flat wrong? And yet, we spot in others before we spot in ourselves or remember it in our own past.

So, this Christmas, my message is simple:  This year, by remembering and fully embracing our own frailties and imperfections, maybe we could be a little less judgmental of others. Maybe we could try to bring a little more love, forgiveness, understanding, grace, and acceptance of and to others. We could assume their best intentions as we do our own, even if we vehemently disagree with their point of view. In the new year it could be our resolution to only comment, post, write or verbalize that which uplifts, expands, and accentuates the positive.

We could be the spirit of Christmas even after the presents are opened, the eggnog is drunk, and the ornaments are all boxed up. How beautiful would that be? I’m in. How about you?

As I enter the last few weeks of 2021, I’m unplugging and recharging for a busy, exciting 2022 and so my last few MMS’s will be recycled holiday favorites. I’m so grateful for the thousands of you in our community who follow, read, and comment each week. We’ve got several exciting new offerings ready to roll out for all of you in 2022 so stay tuned for more ways to grow your leadership, communication, training, and speaking skills.

In the meantime, enjoy the last throes of 2021, and … Merry Christmas, to each and every one of you!

“The established majority takes its we-image from a minority of its best and shapes a they-image of their despised outsiders from the minority of their worst.”

Norbert Elias

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