Let your heart be light.” ~ Hugh Martin
The Christmas season is here once again and amongst all the wonderful aspects of Christmas comes also unfortunately the stress of the hustle and bustle associated with this time of year. Let’s see, there are of course gifts to buy, which then leads to gifts to wrap, cards to send, trees to put up and decorate, parties to plan and attend, cookies to bake, and the list goes on and on! As a matter of fact, I am getting a little tired just writing the previous sentence! To my relief, my tree is finally up and decorated. As we have an artificial tree, I usually make a point of getting it up early November. That so did not happen this year. Our tree went up in stages and for a few days it stood in the corner, partially assembled, and undecorated taunting me every time I passed it by. My students excitedly asked me if my “tree was up yet? “ When I answered “yes and no,” they were a bit confused, but I had to explain in the corner partially done is not considered “up” unfortunately. So needless to say I am glad it is done, and I do really enjoy the calming and cozy atmosphere a lit tree provides. I can use a little more of that type of atmosphere right now, and I don’t think I am alone!
Christmas carols are all over the radio and amongst the favourites you often hear is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” yet when things get hectic, it certainly may not seem so. It is really necessary to find the splashes of joy that are around you. Splashes of joy were evident in my classroom this week and came via something unusual: ugly sweaters. My mom brought some ugly Christmas sweaters in for my son as he needs one for an upcoming party. I asked her to show the kids as we are studying holiday traditions and I thought Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties would be a funny tradition to discuss. The kids got a real kick out of the discussion and several students excitedly modelled the sweaters in an impromptu fashion show. The priceless thing about it was these kids loved the sweaters and asked to wear them most of the day! Those tacky, overly festive, much too big sweaters brought those students so much joy it was impossible not to laugh and feel the joy with them. Who would think that something so simple could make their day. Also I purchased four chocolate advent calendars and each day four different students gets to open the doors and receive a seasonal chocolate. This too has been embraced with great excitement as they anticipate whose turn it will be next to open a door. A little splash of joy, but something that means a lot to them.
Joy can come in the most unusual places if we are looking for it. Even Charlie Brown from the Peanuts Gang struggled during the season to find the joy of the holidays. He did find joy eventually through the help of a group of friends and a tiny tree that needed a little love. You see Christmas joy is not linked to dollar amounts. We do not find true joy in getting the latest this or that necessarily, but it is really about others around us. We can bring joy to others through so many little things. A hug, a smile, a card, a word of encouragement, or a listening ear can all go very far during this busy season.
I was given a homemade piece of apple cake this week that was delivered with so much love, I felt it. I was given a little gift of special hand lotions left on my desk by another dear friend with a special note this week too. As I often get very dry and cracked hands this season, it was so very much appreciated and very thoughtful. We are going carolling with my class door to door in the school before the Christmas break. The students are really on board and we have been practicing a lot. You know how Buddy the Elf says “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!” That is our goal and I hope by doing this it does spread some splashes of joy to those rooms we visit.
Joy to you all,
Psalms 71:23 ~ My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praise to you – I whom you have delivered.
Little Lesson Learned: In all the craziness that sometimes come with this time of year, make a conscious effort to seek, receive and give joy. It will mean so much to you and others.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014