Christmas Headaches, Heartaches and Happiness

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Happiness: Real or only an Illusion

If you haven't already noticed the signs of Christmas are upon us. Department stores, grocery stores and even the small shops have put up bright and shiny decorations. This happens, or it seems to happen earlier each year. This year, in our neighborhood, there were decorations springing up even before Halloween!

Unfortunately for many, Christmas is more of a headache than a world or wonderland. Many people have lost their incomes during the year, others have had a disastrous accident, some encountered illnesses that will affect their families. Although there are hurdles and problems, the desire to fulfill the wishes of their children quickly tarnishing Christmas dreams and celebrations. And, so the headache begins.

Once the headache sets in, the heartaches begin. For many families there is not enough money to go around and parents experience the ache as they know their children's wishes will not be granted. They know the sounds and sights, and pictures of other families enjoying the season to the fullest. The children also see the happy faces, glowing fireplaces and bigger than life Christmas trees that are visible through the frosted windows. Perhaps a child, a beloved family member or even a parent has been stricken ill which will all but erase the thoughts of happy smiles, pretty packages, and the treats and smiles that should be theirs.

Considering the tragedies and other obstacles that happen each and every year to countless of families - Is happiness out of reach for them?

On the other hand, some families appear to have it all and go scurrying around in their shiny new cars, wearing rich subtle suede and leather garments, toting bags and boxes filled with treasures to be displayed and distributed on Christmas Day. These people will be smiling, laughing, celebrating with friends and family, and enjoying the moment of the season.

But, happiness is more than a brightly wrapped package tied with a bow. Happiness lives deep within each of us, but for some, it seems j happiness has taken a second or even third place to how much can I spend or how much can I get. Happiness, it seems, has become how many dollars are printed on the price tag. Happiness seems to have become something on a store shelf, on four wheels, or nestled inside a jeweler's case.

Silly, you say? Ah, but we have all been taken captive of greed and became pawns of the illusive happiness ideal. At one time or another in our lives, most of us have thought the amount of packages received and the contents were what really mattered. This self-indulgence surely was true happiness.

So how can we get rid of the headaches and heartaches and enjoy the holiday season fully when so many things have happened within our lives. Perhaps the first step is to ask ourselves what would make us happy. For most people, there is no readily avaliable answer. And, as crazy as it seems, some people prefer to roll around in their sewer or 'why me' or 'I just can't get it right.'

Some people have been accused of looking at life through rose-colored glasses and often considered fools. They have nothing but trouble and strife and yet they smile and seem to be the most happy. These people accept their lot in life, work to do their best, and live without greed or jealousy. They, in turn, make the best of what they have and stand tall within their family circles.

These believe they are right where they are meant to be. No doubt, these people would be the first to step up to help another in need. Often they have compassion and patience for the ones not as lucky in life as they. And, likely, these people would be the best friend you could happen to find.

So, before you cast your glance away from an 'out-of-luck' by-stander, honk at someone that has tied up traffic because their car has died, or frown at an elderly who is having a hard time trying to keep up with the other on the sidewalk - remember that they too may have been affluent and respected at one time.

Happiness truly comes from within and perhaps, most people still have that spark deep inside them. Some have chosen to dispell and extinquish the flame by twirling in a world of 'how much money or things can I get.' Happiness can be found easily in a simple gesture such as a smile. It can make or break someone's day. A smile is an embassador of happiness.

Here's to you and rose-colored glasses, and those who have found the secret!

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