Christmas is coming...fast!! If you haven't finished Christmas shopping, these are the days where the anxiety level comes up a notch. Even if the shopping is completed, are you second guessing a little bit? More stress!
One of the best remedies for the holiday stress mode and to pick back up the Christmas cheer is to intentionally slow down, take a deep breath and dare to be different...kinder, patient, encouraging.
As we jump in the hustle pace, we can give some gifts that are easy to give and a treasure to receive. Here are a few ideas:
Lavish friendliness and patience on an indifferent, slow-moving clerk. Could we inject a little gentle humor into the situation?
Respond to a harsh remark with understanding and a silent prayer for the other person. Peer past the situation at hand to the person extending it.
Smile genuinely at the employee cleaning up a mess and tell him that we appreciate his efforts. Everyone likes his work to be noticed.
Be aware of our tone of voice and the looks on our faces. We easily slip into critical, complaining, negative modes. We need to learn to be the thermostat rather than the thermometer; often, our tone of voice and facial expressions set the temperature. Let’s shoot for warm and charming rather than cold and harsh.
Whether online or in person, treat people who hold differing opinions with courtesy. Let’s go out of our way to appreciate and honor them for who they are. May we offer compassion and understanding like an umbrella that we share with someone out in the cold rain.
Know that others may not acknowledge or appreciate our effort. That doesn’t devalue our offering. Demonstrating love, extending mercy and grace, and treating others the way we want to be treated — even when it’s difficult — are precious, personalized gifts.