The Spirit of Christmas in Action

As I sit down to write this post, it’s a warm, sunny, windy December day – in other words a typical West Texas Winter day. (It’ll probably snow later in the week. Ha!) Needless to say, it’s not very inspiring for a Christmas-time post. So, to help get me in the right mindset (after going to Hobby Lobby) I decided to Google a few words synonymous with Christmas – Joy, Peace, Benevolence, Love, Jesus.

Their definitions were what I knew and expected to see – nouns and adjectives:

JOY: a state of happiness

PEACE: a state of tranquility or quiet

LOVE: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties; unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

But as I scrolled down the page I saw these words were also verbs or actions, signifying a choice:

JOY: rejoice

PEACE: promote harmony; to be calming

LOVE: to feel great affection for (someone); to like or desire actively: take pleasure in

Like most of us, I think of joy, peace, and love as things or feelings I wish to possess. However, when I look at each word as something I can chose to do or an attitude I can have towards others or my circumstances, my perspective on the Christmas season changes slightly.

It’s true, if you think about it, that when you lack love, you lack joy. When you lack joy, you lack peace. And from a health standpoint, when you lack these three, your mental and physical strength and energy are also lacking. One way to keep mentally and physically healthy is to actively spread joy, peace, and love. It’s even possible to do this and get a great workout in at the same time!

  • Put on your favorite Christmas Carols and sing your heart healthy! Singing has been proven to elevate mood and not only make you happier but also make those around you happy. Adding your favorite music to mundane chores, like cleaning, makes them a little less daunting. Plus, if you DANCE and sing, you will be getting a workout, too. Dancing is great exercise; be silly and break out your best moves, and in the process help everyone watching get their abdominal workout from laughing.
     

    • I like to wear my tiara while I clean house, too. Cleaning isn’t my favorite thing, so I make it fun and workout at the same time. The tiara keeps me humble.

       

  • Jump for Joy! While shopping can help you click off the steps on your Fit Bit (or other pedometer), walking alone won’t keep the holiday bulge at bay – especially if you are drinking your favorite flavored latte while you shop. However, adding a little High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to your shopping trip will burn twice as many calories and give you an energy boost to finish in record time. Literally JUMP up and down (for 1 minute or do 50 jumping jacks) every time you check a name off your gift list or enter a new store. Or set your watch or phone to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to jump! Go to the dressing room if you must be shy or start a new trend. Either way, you must jump long enough to get your heart rate up periodically throughout your walk.

Singing, dancing, jumping, and walking can be incorporated into all daily activities. And yes, you will be spreading joy when others see you being joyful, happy, and lighthearted.

Ironically, when we take it upon ourselves to show joy, peace, and love through good will towards others or just in our attitudes, we also attain them for ourselves. I guess the old saying “It’s better to give than to receive” has meaning outside that of giving tangible gifts. Laughter is contagious. Happiness is contagious. Kindness is contagious. Let’s make Joy, Peace, and Love contagious as well this Christmas. We will all be healthier for it. Remember that Jesus Christ, whom we are celebrating, is the source of our joy, peace, and love. Merry Christmas!

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