My family is a big one. I have 5 brothers, 3 sisters; I am an aunt to 14 and a great aunt to 9. Most of us normally get together during the holidays. However, this year is a bit different. We are all doing our own Christmas.
This does not stop us from buying each other Christmas gifts, though. So, guess what I did today? That’s right, my father and I drove to everyone’s houses to drop off their Christmas gifts. But of course, we did it in style!
Given that my family is not coming together this Christmas, it kind of made me bummed. So, I wanted to do something fun and cheerful. So, I had my father order a Santa suit and I got myself an elf outfit. We drove to each house in our getup and made my siblings, nieces, and nephews smile. Of course, most of my nieces and nephews stared in awe at my dad. But a few liked my outfit too. One of my nieces was like, “You’re Poppy! Poppy the elf!!” I guess Poppy is a cartoon character or something? I really do not know, but my niece was super excited.
After we were done delivering gifts, my Dad informed me that we had to run into the store quickly before heading home. Some people might find it embarrassing to run into a store dressed up as Santa and an elf, but not my father and me. We don’t get embarrassed that easily. So, in we went. And here is the thing:
Everyone that looked at us ended up smiling!
I would like to think that because we were festive, cheery, and happy, it made others happy as well. And Proverbs 17:22 came to mind.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.Proverbs 17:22
See, none of us knows what another person is going through. Not unless you know them that is. But you do not personally know that random person you passed by in the store, or the man sitting behind you at the restaurant, or even the staff that helps you at any establishment. You don’t know if that person just lost someone dear to them, had a bad day, is depressed, or will be spending the holidays alone. You just don’t know.
I could not tell you what the people in the store were going through any more than they could tell you why my father and I were dressed up as Santa and an elf. But because we were cheerful, they smiled!
You see, being cheerful can be pain-relieving medicine to another, if even just for a few seconds. And no, you do not have to dress up as Santa or an elf to be cheerful.
Cheerfulness can be shown in many ways. Cheerfulness can be shown in how we greet others with a welcoming word or a smile. Cheerfulness can be shown through words of encouragement. Honestly, encouragement is never wasted words in my opinion. But cheerfulness can also be shown through enthusiasm or positive outlooks.
Do you have cheerfulness in your heart? Do you go out of your way to provide people with that good medicine?
Honestly, I could have dwelt in that feeling of disappointment. Disappointment that most of my family is not getting together for Christmas. I could have decided not to get those outfits for my father and me to wear. But then, my siblings would not have laughed, my nieces and nephews would not have been excited, and those people in the store would not have smiled.
Choose to be cheerful; to be joyful. Even amongst trials of any kind. Because when you do, you will see just how much of a medicine it can be to another… and maybe, just maybe, it’ll double back and be medicine to you as well.