If I didn’t have a good fairy living next door and one that flies in from the east, I would have decided, by now, to give up. No, no, no – not THAT ‘give up’ – I mean give up trying to keep everyone happy – including me. It’s exhausting (bit of an exaggeration but I think lots of you will ‘get it’ ) and I am spent (as is my purse). This is the season of peace and goodwill …. but oh how one’s better nature is sorely tried at times.
Take a tin of Quality Street, for example – bought for the ‘big day’ and already empty -apart from the wrappers; a tray of homemade ‘Luxury Rocky Road’ frayed at the edges and full of ‘potholes’; shortbread that should have lasted longer; ‘After Eights’ – gone before seven …. ‘Och well, it’s nearly Christmas….. might as well start early…. what about another wee glass of wine… is that ‘Party Mix’/crisps/dips ??’ Cheeses (of Nazareth)!! How many more trips to the supermarket will I need to make before Friday! Thank the Good Lord the turkey and accompaniments are residing at Messrs Marks & Sparks till Thursday!
Now you can see for yourselves, from this petty list of annoyances, just how sorely tried I am! But it’s the ‘littlest’ things that infuriate, especially when a deadline is approaching. It’s so easy to lose perspective especially when someone takes the last purple wrapped chocolate from the tin you are so selflessly handing around ( how could you, how could you! – I should have taken my pick first!!) But the neon sign flashes inside your head – JOY! JOY! JOY!: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. This is how you spread JOY! (Why couldn’t the word for unadulterated happiness have been ‘YOJ’ you ask yourself, pathetically……)
Generosity is, without question, more in evidence at this time of year – sweets, wine, gifts, flowers, alms – people do try to bring good cheer wherever they go. Generosity of spirit however, is something we should be manifesting on a daily basis (I’m talking to myself here) with gifts (which don’t require endless trips to the supermarket) like tolerance, compassion, patience, time – time to listen, time to say thanks, time to laugh, time to contemplate the true meaning of Christmas, time to meditate quietly….time to think deeply….. and make yet another list of what’s still to be replaced!!….. sorry, I lost concentration just then …… now where was I… ….. tin of sweets, shortbread, wine, more nibbles….. oh and batteries…. toilet rolls (mustn’t forget those)……. don’t forget your bags …here we go again …oh JOY !. oh bliss…..
A colleague had been asked by his wife to do a little errand on his way home from school. He had to visit the greengrocer’s where he would purchase the items on his shopping list. On entering the shop he was distracted by a sign which read:
‘ALL OUR GRAPE’S REDUCED’
Still smarting from his somewhat frustrating lesson on punctuation with his First Years, he asked the young assistant sarcastically,
‘Do all your grapes have apostrophes?’
‘Naw,’she replied laconically, ‘some ur seedless.’