How to Get in the Holiday Spirit When You Aren’t

Waiting for the holiday spirit
Waiting for the holiday spirit

Christmas is for children and lovers, I told myself, in true Grinch form. Long past childhood, divorced, limping casualty of love with a divorced-size budget, and single-mom-sized energy level, I struggled to feel joy at the return of green, red, jungle bells, crowds and long lines and Santa sized to do list.

Behind me, in the long line at Target, was a wizened and twisted old lady, her walker piled high with items. I glanced at her, imaging my younger children at home, sword fighting with broom sticks and swinging from the track lighting while waiting for me to return.

She started it.

“That’s a great bag,” she said, indicating my purse.

I reached inside myself for energy to be other-focused, thanked her and gave a little history of the purse. Actually. It was nice to engage with another soujourner.

I heard myself say, “ma’am, please go ahead of me. You have much less in your basket than I do.”

She didn’t have less.  Elderly and bent, she fumbled with her money and dawdled, but it was the right thing to do. Some generosity welled up from somewhere inside and I smiled at someone in another line. They smiled back.

I knew what to do now about my poverty of holiday spirit.

Kindness. I would recruit my boys and we would focus on Kindness everywhere we go. On purpose. Seeking it out. DOING it. Hands and feet and all that.

Here’s our list.

1. Compliment anyone we can, clerks, grouchy people in line, UPS man….

2. Open doors with a flourish and a grin.

3. Smile at anyone who will make eye contact.

4. Seek out people to help. Lift their package, reach something, load their groceries.

5. Buy the car’s coffee behind us in the Starbuck drive through.

6. Refuse to participate in the mentality of short supply and hurriedness.

7. Wish Merry Christmas vibrantly and at every opportunity.

8. Vivaciously search for ways to lighten people’s loads.

MERRY CHRISTMAS SEASON ALL!  Go forth and bubble over.

Write back and tell us your efforts at warming the season with Kindness.


  1. I love your post and have enjoyed reading the previous ones as well. we never know what other people are going through in their lives and sometimes the smallest gesture can mean the world to someone that needs it!

  2. What a beautiful and generous early gift you gave to all of us! We can follow and join your family in the most meaningful of life’s treasures namely, kindness, love and caring for our fellow human beings. You are a role model and set a high standard. Thanks and Season’s Greetings!

    1. You are too generous Eric. I was trying to get myself to be nicer. By being kind, I hope it generates good will in me and I give it back and we get a vicious cycle of kindness and holiday cheer going!!!


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