Focus on Joy

Wow! What a great year it has been. Now by saying great, I do mean it in all versions. Unprecedented, life changing, extreme, good, huge and well, you get the point. I'm sure we have all seen "great" come in different ways this year. I would like to share a couple thoughts specific to Christmas and hopefully it can be an encouragement for you...

Christmas 2020. I would say that this year will be different than previous years and yet there have been many Christmases that were difficult for other reasons. Some of my past holidays have seen job loss, family tragedies, loneliness and poverty. Not too mention my own bad attitude and the drama I have caused. This year has amplified emotions and I live with constant elevated stress levels. Starting a business is always hard work. But I didn't anticipate it being this hard. Here is what I am getting at... Focus on Joy.

Over 30 some years that I have participated in the Christmas activities and family gatherings, Christmas was what I made it. In my early years they were exciting and lots of fun. In my teen years they were a drag and I really wasn't thrilled about visiting some aunt and uncle I barely knew. Where things began to change was the year I met my wife. She challenged me to think about Christmas as an opportunity to serve and actively participate in annual traditions. Not that I was Scrooge before that but boy did Christmas take on a new meaning in light of this new perspective. Not long after that our daughter joined our family and then our son. Having my own kids to impart the joy of Christmas sealed the deal for me. I now have a greater understanding as to what it means to celebrate Christmas. Taking the focus off of myself and focusing on joy. Sharing joy to those around. Teaching my kids what it means to give joy to others. Giving is better than receiving and spending time together with those we love with this attitude is one of the greatest gifts we can give. 

This Christmas is far from ideal. But I will focus on the people I can share it with. I will give presents even if I have to drop them off at the front door. I will focus on joy even if that is not easy. I will participate in the traditions that are still possible. This year I was introduced to a new one. Merry Christmas everyone!