“Ho ho ho!”

So goes Santa’s greeting. We see it all over the place. Is it a good thing?
Christmas cheer. Christmas shopping. Christmas lists. Checking off the lists. Making more of them.
Awakening in the middle of the night wondering if we did this, wrapped that, or thought of [whatever… you fill in the blank.]
Ho ho ho-ing all over the places as advertisers pound the consumers and shoppers rush into each other, or knock over each other, or blare their horn at one another in traffic. This does not sound like a good thing!
Here’s where I find my “Ho ho ho” as well as my peace on earth and good will toward men:

1. Simplify.

Sounds simple. But it’s not. I’ve been working on it for years and have made some progress. But I still have ground to cover.

2. Watch the Hallmark Channel.

I can see some of you shaking your heads or rolling your eyes. Shake and roll away. I’m tellin’ ya. These cheesy little original shows are the ones with morals, standards, and a feeling of goodness. My family scatters in different directions when I turn on the tv and smile at whatever show is on. But I think they secretly want to be like me when they grow up.

3. Send out a “Happy Note” via mail, email, FB, Twitter, or whatever means you can.

Just this simple “Hi, I’m thinking of you” can bring the peace that some are seeking.

4. Pray for folks.

With genuine intent, our prayers for the well being of others impacts them. Regardless of our station, financial condition, or state of being, we can do this one thing. It does indeed bring peace to us and to those of whom we’re thinking.

5. Bake something.

Or use simple arts and crafts- like crayons and construction paper- to make homemade ornaments or a card to take to a neighbor. Cart them, along with a batch of cookies, to a nursing home and give the elderly ones there. There is wisdom and goodness to be found in visiting with the older citizens.

6. Smile.

It costs zip, zilch, nothing. It can bring all kinds of cheer as folks see us and smile back. Even at home or at work, by ourselves, a smile on the face may bring a bit more joy to the soul.
Remember the Christ child for whom this season comes ‘round. Giving something to Him – one of our weaknesses, sin, more trust, more service – grants us a true peace, goodness and cheer!
So these are a few ways to shift to a simple “Ho ho ho” bit of fun and joy and cheer during the holiday season. For Hanukkah, the same kinds of things apply. The key is to find our best ways to block out the commercialism that drives us nuts, and accept the sweet goodness that can accompany this time of year. It’s like Santa comes to visit every day!