As we round the corner to December 15th and the holiday season shifts into high gear I thought I would share a few thoughts on how to survive the stress of the Christmas (or how to survive the crazy people all around you if Christmas is not one of your treasured days).
It goes without saying that nothing puts a damper on the season of good will faster than someone behaving like a selfish nine year old and daring you to do anything about it – cutting you off in traffic, stealing your parking spot at the mall, draining the eggnog bowl, ogling your favorite sweater with disdain or hogging the remote … it all amounts to the same thing. Someone didn’t get their nap and you’re going to pay.
When I see one of these delightful critters coming my way I used to stand aside; but these days I tend to lean in and give them a nice big hug. This either stuns them as they implode on the inside from shock or defuses their erupt button long enough for me to wish them season’s greetings and send them on their way.
I had the pleasure of driving in front of one such lady last Saturday morning. I was just ambling along minding my own business … when suddenly this beat up red car started dodging and weaving behind me … then a woman in a red sweater who was driving the car started honking her horn and yelling out the driver’s window something about me needing to learn how to drive…
For a second I admit I did consider throwing my car into park and getting out to ask her how I could be of assistance, but then I got a mental image of one of those little clown cars from the circus and the whole thing just seemed absurdly funny. Then the whole thing took on a life of its own when I realized that I was actually slowing down to get a better look at her performance in my rear view mirror as she just got madder by the second.
No, I did not slow down on purpose to further upset her, but I definitely did have the last laugh. The roads in Bermuda are narrow and winding and she had no choice but to follow me for blocks and blocks.
If I knew who she was, I would go and do something nice for her this week, because she was clearly having a very bad day and she made me realize just how nuts people can get when they feel obliged to fulfill everyone else’s holiday expectations and they aren’t in the mood – she had two elderly ladies in the car with her that morning and it was obvious that she had been obliged to drive them to the store when she didn’t have the time.
It is very hard to make other people happy unless you can first find it in your heart to be happy yourself. If you want to spread a tiny bit of holiday spirit this season, hold the door open for someone when don’t have to, or tip someone you don’t have to and watch their face light up. Who knows, maybe they will be nice to some random person too.