One good Christmas gift we can give ourselves and the world around us? The gift of good humor.
I have laughed my way through a lot of life, so far… Having learned it is more productive, more effective, and more fun than weeping or wringing my hands. But I’ve done plenty of that, too. It’s just that the years have taught me to wring and weep less [unless they’re tears of joy and tenderness] and laugh a lot more often.
It is in my blood. My dad was a hoot. You couldn’t be in his company, usually, without feeling better, lighter, and laughing. What a gift! On my mom’s side, the whole family together could be heard in the next county. All that laughing, guffawing, and cracking up was pure joy then. And wonderful memories now.
People have their own way of dealing with hard issues. Some are wiser than others, as the following story will attest. Be ready to laugh:
An elderly man and woman had been married for more than fifty years. One day the woman became very ill, and was hospitalized. It soon became clear that her time was very short, so the husband had to get her affairs in order.
There was a box in the back corner of the woman’s closet that she had asked her husband never to open. He had always honored her request. But now, it was needful that he open it.
He was shocked to find two doilies in that box. And eighty two thousand dollars. Imagine his surprise!
Upon returning to the hospital, he asked his sweet wife about that box and it’s contents.
The wife said,
When we married my mother told me that contention can ruin a relationship. She suggested that every time I was mad at you, I should make a doilie.
The old man was thrilled that, in all the years, she’d only had to make two. Then he asked about the eighty two thousand dollars, wondering where it came from.
That’s the money I made selling the doilies.
Ha! It was a true gift box, wasn’t it?! I wish I knew whose story this is, so I could give credit. I’ve used it in speaking to groups large and small for years. What a perfect story to give us a laugh. And a good example of many important lessons.
And so it is with life. We get lemons, we should make lemonade, according to the popular saying. But we need sugar to make that lemonade taste good. It’s the sweetness that makes it work.
Same in our lives. How can we make lemonade, so to speak, without the beautiful gift of laughter? The wonderful treasure of a sense of humor? Sweeter than all the candy we can scarf down during all the holidays seasons, combined.
I agree with the old sentiment that goes like this:
Life is to be enjoyed; not merely endured.
This holiday season, we can add the – well, the seasoning – largely through our attitude. When it is appropriate, a giggle or a laugh-out-loud can be a perfect gift to share. Or to give ourselves. I once heard something that Henry W. Beecher said, and it has stuck with me:
Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it.
What a good idea! Surely our God has a perfect sense of humor. Tension can be eased by it. Stress may be diminished by it. Hope may be built by it.
It is wise to find something to bring laughter. Humor is a heavenly gift. When used in a heavenly way, not as a way to hurt, be crude, or humiliate, it is a gift worthy of sharing with the Prince of Peace Himself.
I don’t think the Wise Men brought any funny stuff along with them, when they made their trek to visit the King. But I imagine they had a good sense of humor. One that graced them with goodness and strength as well as buoyancy on their journey.
May our journey include the gift of humor! It’s a really good blessing.
And goodness matters.