Are You Joyful This Christmas?
Find A Way To Let The Holidays Make You Happy
by Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Picture this: you’re dressed in Victorian garb, singing Christmas carols for a small private party that paid a little money to have you. The party is mostly for kids – there are nearly a dozen youngsters ranging in age from about 5 to 12, and they are happily hurling requests at your quartet right-and-left. They are toasting marshmallows at the fire pit while they listen to your music… you’re standing nearby, at this beautiful home on a Colorado mountainside, distracted from the stunning view of city lights below only by the sparkling lights in the eyes of your young audience.
That is exactly the experience I was privileged to enjoy last evening.
This season, I’m humbled to be allowed to again be part of the Original Dickens Carolers of Colorado. Populated mostly by professional stage performers, for about the last quarter century the group has provided the most uniquely entertaining holiday music experience you can find anywhere… and they’re pretty selective when it comes to engaging singers. I’m far from a “star” in this group… I’m only JUST good enough to be able to work with the stars that do populate the Original Dickens Carolers galaxy.
That said, I am happy to say I’ve been blessed in business. As a small-business entrepreneur, I’m in charge of my own schedule, and unlike some of my caroling colleagues I am not burdened by some of the day-job stresses that most people have to put up with. And I don’t do caroling gigs because I need the money (a refreshing change from the 1990s, when I was singing with this same group precisely to try to make ends meet).
I’m doing this to maximize my Christmas joy!
Not that it doesn’t get stressful at times. This weekend our group appeared at dozens of engagements (I myself had seven singing engagements in three days) and had to scramble to cover unforeseen absences by carolers who were ill or injured (thankfully, none seriously). Yesterday, the mileage alone was staggering – two of my engagements were more than 150 miles apart! And I’m only one of several members of the group who do that much driving, that much downloading of directions from the internet, that much breathless dashing from show to show while keeping our voices (and our elaborate costumes) in professional shape.
But if you could have seen the looks on those kids’ faces last night – the unabashed glow of pure joy – you would know why all the stress is more than worthwhile. I asked to be included in the group because I remembered that, as an adult, my most joyous Christmas seasons have included caroling for audiences just like this.
Find a way to make the holidays joyous for yourself this year. There are plenty of things to worry about out there, from the global economic wreck to the alarming lack of health and vitality in America. But worrying about those things won’t make them go away, and will only make you live a fearful and anxious life. And making yourself crazy with the commercialism of the season won’t help, either. You need to put some joy into your emotional storehouse, and the Christmas season will provide you with plenty of joy, if you let it.
For me, it’s caroling with a world-class group. For my wife, it’s decorating our homes within an inch of their “lives” and expressing her inner artistry by creating amazing gift baskets. I have a friend who goes a little nuts with the Christmas lights on the outside of his home. Whatever it is, though, find a way to let the season warm your heart. Don’t let another new year dawn with nothing but a heavy sigh.
Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.
Those with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to make money “one less thing to worry about” can learn more about working with Michael at http://oneyearplan.net/michaeldhume
Anyone wanting to jump-start their vitality can browse through the best (and most travel-friendly) nutraceuticals on the market at http://shop.enivausa.com/239824
Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael’s web site at http://michaelhume.net
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