My friend Katie is at it again in her quixotic quest to make sure everyone’s happy all the time. It’s an admirable goal and I can’t fault her methods. If there’s anyone who can achieve that goal, it’s probably her. You’re right, Katie, the world certainly SHOULD jump up and down in excitement a whole lot more than it does.
As anytime there is too much happiness and common sense in one post, though, my thoughts turn to the darker side. You must be happy at Christmas. You. Yes, you. Why aren’t you happy? It’s Christmas! Oh, you’re not a Christian? Well, you don’t have to be Christian to celebrate Christmas! Anyway, Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a philosophy! What, still not happy? But look at all you have to be thankful for! Still not happy? I don’t understand. You must be one of those people that just gives off negative energy. My therapist told me to avoid people like you. Merry Christmas!
I exaggerate for effect. There really is a pressure on people to be happy during the holidays, though. This is not good for the psyche. If you aren’t happy and you think you should be happy, you are much more likely to make choices you think will make you happy instead of choices that are good for you. I am convinced that somewhere out there is a psychological report that says the best time to fire employees is during the Christmas holidays because studies show that people will be more accepting of the result because of the pressure to be thankful for all that you have during the holidays.
There is no reason to be happy during Christmas in particular. If you’re not happy, don’t be! Just as much shit happens in our lives during the Christmas holiday as any other time in our lives. Just as many babies are born. Just as many friends die. Just as many hearts are broken. Just as many loves are found.
Be happy because there are things to be happy about. Be sad because there are things to be sad about. Don’t be happy because people tell you you should be happy. And don’t be sad because you can’t currently think of anything to be happy about. Be who you are and apologize to no one. Unless you’re an asshole. No one likes an asshole.