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Happy-Gourmand

Keep the magic in Christmas

We are getting down to the nitty gritty now - it's just a couple of weeks ’til the big day, so if you don't have your Christmas spirit dusted off, you’d better get to it. 

Wait, did I hear a ‘Bah, humbug!’? I'll not have any of that, thank you.

I am here to tell you that every soul is needed this time of year to keep the magic alive. 

It just takes a few simple acts, which we can all do. The first couple are a warm up, really, to get you used to the feeling that being festive gives you. Then once you have your smile firmly back in place, and your sense of humour warmed up to ward against the commercial Grinches that prowl around, you can carry on. It won't cost you any more than you are planning to spend, so why not give it a try?

Eat a Christmas cookie
If you are into baking, that's wonderful, but there are plenty of places to buy them, too. You don't have to buy a whole tin, just get one. A Snowman at Starbucks to go with your coffee, or a shortbread at your local bakery, or a package from the craft fair. Remember treats of Christmases gone by (even if they are mangled cookies you made as a kid, or overcooked shortbread), and smile at how things don't really change. It can be a good thing.

Hum a holiday tune
Go ahead, you know you want to :) This is one of those ‘you can't beat 'em, so you might as well join them’ kind of activities. My favourite Christmas album is John Denver & the Muppets - how can you be a humbug with Miss Piggy singing about figgy pudding?

Send out a Yuletide greeting
Okay, so now that you're warmed up, you can flex your holiday muscles. Share some of that spirit by wishing someone a Merry Christmas - maybe a relative you haven't been in touch with lately, or a faraway friend. If you have kids, send a picture of them. Do it with an old-fashioned card, or an online version, it doesn't matter. This is truly a time when it's the thought that counts.

Perform an act of kindness, random or planned
You might say that I've seen one too many Hallmark holiday movies, but I'm serious. Wish a tired cashier a sincere Merry Christmas, pay it forward at your morning coffee place, drop off a donation for a charity, give money or a warm sweater or even a smile to a homeless person. The possibilities truly are endless, and trust me, you will get back many times over what you give.

Smile back at a child
This takes a bit of paying attention, because you have to notice what makes kids smile first. Once you know, it will likely be hard not to smile too, but what I really want you to notice is their sense of wonder. That is the essence of Christmas, and you'll scoop up a few particles of it if you spend time with children at Christmas. Note that there are big kids out there too, people who haven't lost that youthful sparkle. You can see it in their eyes.

Stop, take a breath, and feel grateful
Just take it all in. You're here, in a part of the world where Christmas is easy to enjoy, and most of us are safe and warm. If you're not feeling especially grateful, think of what you might be grateful for if you wanted to be. Hint: loved ones are a wonderful place to start.

Okay, now get out there in the world and spread that holiday goodness around. Make the most of your time at the mall, and I don't mean by shopping efficiently. Take advantage of people's sense of good will and jump on the bandwagon.

I want to close with a quote about the season, and as much as I would love to quote the Grinch or Kris Kringle or Scrooge, this one seemed best:

"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: Loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?" ~ American comedian Bob Hope

He was right, you know. After all, you can be a grouch anytime.

God bless us, every one!



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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