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Jingle all the way

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Spread Cheer.

This morning, I ran to Christmas music. Today my run was different. Today I looked up. I smiled at every person I passed and wished them a “Merry Christmas.” How often does that happen? How often do you interact with complete strangers? I realized on my run — Christmas is about other people.

Christmas is about spreading cheer.

Fine, Christmas is about baby Jesus. But that also makes it about everyone else, does it not? How often do you take joy in others? It’s hard to do when you’re wrapped up in your own life. My sister thinks about Christmas for months, and when Christmas comes around, there are a million small (but incredibly thoughtful) presents under the tree. Her presents outdo everyone else’s presents because she’s been planning them all year. And she does it because she loves what everyone looks like when they are opening presents.

Christmas doesn’t last one day.

We have “Christmas” a week early at our house because my sister goes to spend it with her husband’s family in California. This year, early Christmas was the day after I got home from Chicago. Until that weekend… I forgot that it was Christmas.

I was incredibly under-prepared and felt terrible because I opened a bunch of really cool presents and didn’t have anything good to give. It didn’t help that I’m not making any money to get really cool gifts. But really cool gifts are not about the price tag, they’re about the thought, and my sister won in that category by months. Her’s were months more expensive. Thought is about time. She thinks about other people all the time.

If people do Christmas right, there shouldn’t be 17 million people shopping on Christmas Eve, especially because that time is better spent at home making gingerbread homes with the people you love.

Kids make Christmas better.

Gingerbread homes. When was the last time you made one? Spending Christmas with my little cousins is fun because it’s more fun to make gingerbread homes, to put candy canes in your hot chocolate, and to keep cookies by the tree on Christmas Eve. It’s more fun to watch them open presents. It’s funny how the act of opening presents can be more fun than the present itself. Why don’t we all just wrap up a whole bunch of bubble wrap and play with it all day? It’s about the little things that make you happy. Kids remind you to appreciate the small things.

It’s sweet that people finally look up once in a while to remember and recognize the people around them and the beauty of the small things. It’s sad that it’s one of the few times of year that it actually happens. But it also makes you remember: Count your blessings, not your problems. It’s the one of the few, beautiful times of year we remember to do this. Unless you’re a spectacular person, and are counting your blessings each day. I know I have some work to do.

Listen to Christmas music all year long.

Keep the warmth of Christmas alive throughout the year. If not for yourself, to spread cheer to others. I admire the people that can listen to Christmas music all year long.

I believe that Christmas gives us the strength that we need going into the new year to look up, to be kind, to take joy in others and to smile at others because spreading cheer is important. I believe that Christmas gives us the energy to jingle all year long.

Jingle all the way. Jingle all year long.

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