With Christmas almost upon us, I’m feeling oddly more festive than I have in the past few years.
Yes, I realize in a previous column I wrote about how the Christmas season always seems to start too soon, and I still stand by that opinion. However, as I write this, I am actually feeling quite excited about this coming Christmas. Don’t ask me why, I’m not quite sure.
I’m going to capitalize on this feeling, by penning this column about my favourite memories of Christmases past.
Shortbread cookies, for me, have always been a reminder of Christmas. I remember, as a kid, helping my mother decorate the cookies with sprinkles and different coloured icing. The taste of shortbread cookies always reminds me, the Christmas season is here.
One of my favourite Christmas Eve memories is, after leaving church in Port Perry, looking out the car window to see the different Christmas light designs on people’s houses and lawns. I remember after going to church, I would always be excited about how Santa was coming that night, and how seeing all of the houses lit just filled me with a bit more Christmas spirit. To this day, I still enjoy seeing the creative ways people light their houses.
Like many kids, I remember, Christmas morning, rushing downstairs to see what Santa Claus had brought me. I’ve never really been much of a morning person, so my mother or sister would usually tell me to get up and go downstairs. Despite being groggy, the feeling of excitement and joy, at seeing the gifts, always beat the tired feeling.
On Christmas day, after everyone finished their Christmas dinner, for a number of years, I remember a bunch of the family members getting together at the table for a card game. I remember it being just something fun to do, before the celebrations were over. For me, I enjoyed learning the rules of the game and being with the adults for a bit. I think card games, for me, were a bonding experience, as I played them as a kid, with my great grandmother in her apartment.
Looking back on my memories of the Christmas season has reminded me of all of the good times I’ve had at Christmas time.
As I wrote in my last column, reflecting on what we have done, rather than looking at what we have not yet achieved, is a good way for people to feel accomplished. In the same sense, those who are not yet feeling the Christmas spirit should remind themselves of the positive memories they’ve had at Christmas, in order to feel a bit more cheerful and excited about the season.
Before I end this column, let me just congratulate my mother Lorie on 25 years working for Medical Associates of Port Perry.
Merry Christmas everyone!
When listening to the radio recently, I heard about an interesting idea called the ‘reverse bucket list.’
For those who don’t know, the reverse bucket list is simply a list of what you have accomplished in life, instead of what you have not yet been able to accomplish.
I found this idea intriguing because it encourages people to really think about, and appreciate, what they have done in life. It fits with something I wrote in a 2015 column, where I explained how people tend to only focus on how to get from point A to point B, and forget to enjoy the small moments. With this reverse bucket list idea, instead of looking at how to just get between those two points, and possibly getting frustrated that they haven’t got to point B yet, they instead would focus on all of the things they have done thus far.
Personally, I think we all need to spend more time reflecting on the things we’ve already done and remembering fond memories from those times. I also don’t think many people truly recognize how many things they have accomplished in their lives, because the focus is always, ‘what is next on my list to do.’
As a reporter, I understand how quickly life tends to rush by. Each week, as soon as we finish one news cycle, another begins, and the focus quickly shifts from the previous week to getting things ready for the next paper. However, at some times when I am feeling like things are moving slower than I hoped on certain stories, or I am feeling less accomplished, I simply take a moment to look at stories I felt were successes and to remind myself of the circle of people, such as friends or family, who care about me.
I think, through this kind of reflection, people can see how they’ve grown through experience in their career or in life in general, and can see just how important or accomplished they truly are.
As well, some goals can be large in nature and so seem far away. With this list, people can reflect on the small things they’ve done to eventually reach these large goals.
With the Christmas season here, and with it being the final month of 2017, I think, now is the perfect time to reflect on our accomplishments. I encourage people to write their own reverse bucket list.
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy