Joy to you and yours

Joy to you and yours

December is upon us and it is supposed to be the season of joy. Right?

No matter which holiday you celebrate, I would think most of them include being joyful during this time.  Personally, we celebrate Christmas, with carols like

  • Joy to the world, the Lord is come…
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, bring tidings of comfort and joy
  • O Come All Ye Faithful, joyful and triumphant…
  • O Christmas Tree, brings to us all both joy and glee
  • Hark the Herald Angels sing… Joyful, all ye nations, rise
  • O Holy Night… Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
  • Carole of the Bells bring their joyful tone to every home
  • If you know another one, please add it

My point being, it appears we should be experiencing joy.  Are you?  December can be full of stressors.  Family gatherings are not always as joyous as we had hoped.  Gift buying turns from the joy of giving into the burden of buying.  Some people may be in the middle of college final exams. (Their joy comes when they discover they passed the class.) Unfortunately, there are many people who are not blessed with family and friends around anymore and they will be spending the holidays alone. There are just as many who have family around but lack the funds or resources to provide a simple meal, let alone gifts.

I believe that joy is a choice.  That’s why I often use the hashtags #StressLess and #ChooseJoy.  I’ve even started using #Peacefulness, but that’s an upcoming blog topic. In any situation you find yourself, you may choose to find the joy in it, or complain and be bitter about it.

I’ll admit, while people often expect me to be upbeat positive Pam, I have my moments.  I was sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher (wah-wah-waaah) in a text message the other day, when it occurred to me that in the grand scheme of things, the big picture of life, what I was complaining about was no big deal.  I followed my text with, “Yes, I know… first world problems.”  Then I focused my thoughts elsewhere and got over myself.  It’s a choice.

When you find yourself stressed out, or down in the dumps, wondering where your joy went, take a look at your situation in the scope of the bigger picture.  Concentrate on the things you have, instead of the things you don’t.  Think about the things you can do, instead of the things you can’t.  Think happy thoughts.  Remember the happy memories.  You can decide how you think and react.  Sure, a negative thought may cross your mind, but when you realize it, you can choose to let it go and think about something more positive. We can have an immediate reaction that might not be exactly the one we would prefer.  Again, realize it and change it.  Pay attention to how you are feeling, and #ChooseJoy.

In this last month of the year, Jim & I wish you and yours a joyous finish to 2019 and blessings for a wonderful 2020.