2012-12-06 / Columns
Feeling very merry
Every hint of Christmas and Hanukkah has arrived.
The weather has changed to cool, cloudy and wet. Tree leaves are blowing in yards, driveways and streets. Christmas lights brighten the night sky.
Shopping malls and stores are adorned with festive decorations. Parking lots are full, and post offices and delivery services are busy. Christmas trees are on sale and menorahs are plentiful.
For me, holiday enthusiasm caught fire early this year. The day before Thanksgiving, I placed a modest string of Christmas lights on our roofline. It’s not elaborate, but it sends a message that we care about the holidays.
Also to observe the season, my wife and I attended the annual Christmas music program at California Lutheran University last Saturday night.
If you’ve never attended the CLU holiday music program, please go next year. You won’t regret it.
It’s become a habit for us. A little advice, if I may: Arrive early.
The music was splendid.
Adding to my holiday spirit, I’ve worked several shifts at the Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks See’s Candies store. We sell holiday candy as a fundraiser for our foundation, which enables Kiwanis to support worthy causes throughout Conejo Valley. We enjoy wishing our patrons “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays.”
Our store at 1610 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. is colorfully decorated. Besides buying holiday gifts, customers can also donate candy to American service men and women.
Kiwanis will celebrate our annual holiday party on Sunday at Lindero Country Club. We’ll also collect toys for foster children.
As a Kiwanian, I realize the adage is true: It really is better to give than to receive.
When I do something good for somebody else, there’s a personal reward. For me, it’s a nice warm feeling inside.
I’m not alone; many people feel the same way. Somehow, the reward goes to the giver, not the recipient. And it doesn’t have to be cash or gifts.
It can also be time and effort. Even if you don’t personally know the person or people you’re helping, awareness that you gave of yourself is enough.
There are, of course, stresses during the holidays. It’s important to get enough sleep and exercise. Try not to overeat or drink excessively. Count to 10 when you feel your temper heating up.
Be patient with family members, other drivers, shoppers and co-workers.
Please enjoy the holidays and share your love for others.
Steve Holt is a retired former editor at the Acorn. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org