Think what it would be like if the holidays went back to the simple giving of our hearts — our true hearts.
Celebrating the season with gifts, whether you make them or purchase them, can be a job. Figuring out who wants what and wrapping the packages with loving hands, we spread peace, joy and goodwill to others as we happily sing our way through the malls and spend time with family and friends. We dodge and maneuver through the traffic with smiles on our faces, even as we give away that one parking spot to the nice person who just pulled into it while we were patiently waiting our turn. Don’t you just love the season? I do. . . but with all the peace and joy, it can also be filled with stress.
We all have that one friend who makes the season look so easy. Along with finishing all her shopping early, she makes 100s of Christmas cookies, cutting out the shapes of Santa, bells and candy canes and then creatively decorating them. All carefully placed in beautiful bags with personalized handwritten notes inside, she hand delivers them to the lucky families. I, on the other hand, attempt to bake festive cookies. The batter sticks to the rolling pin and the frosting oozes off the sides. They don’t end up being either creative or edible enough to serve to anyone! I could be resentful of my friend for being so creative, or I can be grateful for the delicious cookies I receive from her every year. I could judge myself as inept. Or chuckle at my cookie mess!
No one really wants to be a scrooge during the holiday season. No one wants to be grumpy and resentful. But sometimes we just can’t help it — or can we? If you’re not in control of your emotions, then who is?
If stress and anxiety hit, call a friend. H.A.L.T.!!! Ask yourself: am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
During the holidays, in order to manage your moods, remember to take care of yourself. Drink lots of water, exercise and meditate. If stress and anxiety hit, call a friend. H.A.L.T.!!! Ask yourself: am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? Personally, I know that I react negatively to situations when I experience any one of the H.A.L.T.s. It’s up to me to be aware of how I feel, to choose whether or not to accept the emotion or situation and to take action to correct it or let it go. Scrooge changed in the end, when he opened up his heart.
Wouldn’t it be great for a change to replace the material presents with the gift of love? Wouldn’t it be great to take away the stress, anxiety, resentfulness and competition? Think what it would be like if the holidays went back to the simple giving of our hearts — our true hearts. To give gifts like unconditional love, joy, peace, trust, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance and courage. All wrapped up with a big bow of no judgment, fear or anxiety. No gift would be measured as cheap or expensive.
Give your parking spot to another who is rushed. Drive with patience and kindness. Give your neighbor a smile. Gift others with your authenticity. Reach down into your heart and gift others with your love.
This is the gift the horses give to us everyday — their hearts, true and authentic. You can’t win them over by buying them the most expensive saddle or bridle. They don’t nicker and neigh to the horse beside them about how “my saddle is better than yours.” They don’t judge us humans by who comes to the barn in designer clothes. Or who comes in mucking clothes. What amazing lessons we can learn by being in their presence, as they only want for us to be present, not caring what present we bring them.
I will, again, give gifts to my family and friends this season, wrapped and put under the tree. My request of you is that you gift, with me, your heart. That you give love generously. It’s free. Sing along to Jolly Ole St. Nicholas in the stores. Give your parking spot to another who is rushed. Drive with patience and kindness. Give your neighbor a smile. Gift others with your authenticity. Reach down into your heart and gift others with your love.
Your two-legged and four-legged friends at One Neigh at a Time wish you a wonderful heartfelt Christmas, Hanukkah or Holiday Season.