Bah Humbug, it’s the holiday season

By Don Rush

Let’s start with a quote attributed to Martin Kornfield: “If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction.”
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You may not know or believe this, but I am kinda a shy fellow. I don’t care to vocalize what I am thinking and in groups of people, I let everybody else talk. I think this tends to lead folks to the conclusion that I’m emotionally shallow. Maybe disinterested in what they are thinking. I keep things close to the vest and, as such, can seem distant and not so nice to those not in the know.
And, guess what. I don’t care what you think.
That said, well, I remember what is probably the only “nice” thing I have ever done. T’was the summer of 1982. At 19-strapping-young years of age, I was home for summer vacation from good old Central Michigan University.
Summer “vacation” of course meant working 40-plus hours a week at Lakeview Cemetery in Clarkston. And, while I dug that job, folks were dying to get in and I had responsibility and a lot of people beneath me, I still liked to hang out with people my own age — definitely not spend time with any of my three younger sisters: Not Barbie, not Patty, nor Nancy Christine, then about 11-years-old.
Don’t know what kind of faerie sprite pwanged me with glittery pixie dust, but for some odd reason on my own, without coaching from my parents, I volunteered to take Nancy and one her girlfriends to the movies to see E.T. (That sweet little tale about a friendly alien who says, “Phone Home” a lot.)
That’s it. My only moment of goodness in an otherwise shallow, bleak, selfish and uneventful life was nearly 40 years ago. (By the way, in my head I am seeing myself in a red Santa suit with those big black leather boots. I see myself sitting down in Santa’s chair, just like in the movie A Christmas Story and Ralphie has just asked for a BB gun. I am that Santa. “Ho, ho, ho . . . you’ll shoot your eye out kid.”)
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So, why is it with this lump of coal for a heart, I like the time between Thanksgiving and New Year, the holiday season? Why do I like the songs, the animated children’s TV specials like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming To Town?
Could it be like the Grinch or Scrooge, I’m looking for some sort of redemption? A Christmas Miracle? Am I looking for something or someone to melt the ice in my veins so my heart can grow three times its normal size? Hmmm? All questions worth pondering.
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And, while I do love Christmas music and the season and the goodwill and cheer, I am always quick to remind myself not everyone loves this time of year. Well, maybe it is better put this way: this time of year makes some folks feel blue or increases their anxiety. To you readers who experience this, you have my empathy. I guess do your best, but remember you do not have to “keep up with the Jones,” nor do you need to explain yourself for your feelings — though it might help folks from trying to give you the old holiday cheer booster shot. Be well, and be with the ones you love at least in spirit.
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Oh, and before I forget, if you want to feel good inside now is a great time to do something nice for someone. For anyone, even if you don’t know them, do something nice. A smile is nice. An unexpected compliment to a co-worker would work. How about pay for the person behind you in line’s coffee or sandwich. And, of course there are tons of volunteer opportunities looking for your help.
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Lastly, to everyone who contacted me to say, “Thanks, Don for your being thankful” column last week, I say, Thank you! (Maybe my heart is starting to thaw out!)
Send comments and holiday wishes to Mr. Grinchy McScrooge,

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