Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year until it’s not. I know that we are all supposed to be grateful for the blessings in our lives. I also know that people get meaner than usual this time of year. I guess that’s one of the reasons so many of us can identify the Ebenezer Scrooge and Grinch around us. And it can be challenging to keep a healthy mentality for the holidays when people cut you off in traffic, are rude in lines, or appear to try to piss people off intentionally. Those are the types of people that I call the Holiday Grinch. They can find no joy in anything.
This weekend, I went to the grocery store, and the lines were long as expected. One woman had three children with her, and one of the children had a set of lungs on her that could shatter glass. Her shrieks were piercing. An older woman the world would call “Karen” essentially told the mother to get her child to hush. The woman was in tears. I couldn’t help but think that the woman who was rude to the mother needed to learn compassion, especially during the holidays. While I don’t have children, I know how challenging it can be for parents. Kids have all kinds of temptation by all the holiday season’s glitz and glamour, and their wants get longer and longer. Some folks would say that they need to stop having kids if they can’t control their ones. I’m grateful that some families have lots of kids because if children teach us anything, it’s that we’ve all become cynical. So many folks think that the holidays are about ensuring presents for those we love. Instead, the holidays should remind us that treating each other is the greatest gift we can give.
I didn’t get to go to the local tree lighting ceremony, nor did I get to attend the local parade. Both events were during the time I recovered from surgery. But I did hear about the attendance and the actions of those who attended. One of my friends who attended said that most folks were kind to each other, but a few of the younger folks they saw bullied each other. The Scrooge’s and Grinch’s of the world don’t need an age limit. Acting superior to others during the holiday season might get people far in certain realms of the world, but it won’t give folks the sense of Spirit that the holidays bring.
One year I begged to get off of work for Christmas. I worked it three years in a row, and my boss made sure I worked four years in a row. He got upset when he came in and said Merry Christmas. At the time, I was so mad at him that I looked at him and said, “Bah, Humbug.” Was it nice? Nope. Was I wrong? Yes and no. I worked the third shift; the company penalized me for not having children. I was so hurt because I constantly came through for the other employees, and the one time I asked off, I was told “no.” I asked four months in advance. Indeed that would have been enough time to find coverage. But, after I had a chance to calm down, I recognized that I became a holiday grinch at a time when I didn’t need to cop an attitude.
Sometimes it’s difficult to suppress our anger and frustrations during the holiday. But now, more than ever, it’s critical that we think before reacting. So many instances are on social media that people didn’t expect. The next time you are having a bad day, try not to lose your cool because you might find yourself labeled as a grinch or Scrooge and that fifteen minutes of fame could last years. Be grateful for the blessings that you have in life. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I enjoy the stories of Scrooge and the Grinch, but I don’t enjoy encountering their real-life counterparts. Stay kind throughout this week. I know it’s hard when people push buttons on our psyche. But when we stay calm, we allow ourselves to enjoy those moments with the folks closest to us. Have a great day, everyone.