It’s a bucolic image of Vermont, one immortalized in the movie “White Christmas,” and one we’d certainly like to see this year and every year around here. After all, a white Christmas means so much to so many around here: a good week for outdoor enthusiasts; a busy time for local businesses; kids out of school for an extended break; family and friends coming together for a special time; or, a time of religious reflection. All of them are reasons enough to want a white Christmas and to make it special.
So what is the most important ingredient to creating a truly memorable white Christmas? While all of the things we listed above are important to some, we would settle for something even simpler to make our Christmas bright.
Yes, that’s it: A simple smile.
While it doesn’t seem like much, a smile can go a long way toward lighting up the shortened days of December. A bright, white smile may be the most important thing this holiday season. Why? Because a smile can mean so much to people and go such a long way toward making folks happy during the holiday season.
While the holidays can be a time of great joy, they can also be a time of great stress. Workloads can increase, especially for those in the retail or hospitality industries. Likewise for those who are under end-of-the-year deadlines. In the household, it may be stress from last minute shopping, planning for a visit, or dreading the annual family get-together. Whatever the reasons, the end of the year can add a great deal of unwanted burden to many.
For clerks in a retail store, waiters, or staff in a hotel, a smile tells customers their business is appreciated. Likewise, a smile from a customer tells someone their efforts are appreciated. For family or friends, a smile says you care and that you are happy to see them. A smile may seem like such a little thing, but it can go a long way toward making someone’s day a little brighter, a little less stressed, and a little better.
In a broader sense, smiles can reverberate throughout the community of man. The Christmas holiday is celebrated in some form throughout the world, in just about every country. It may not have the same name, or the same religious connotations, but some sort of year-end holiday is celebrated worldwide in some form by Christians and non-Christians alike. In fact, there are fewer than a dozen countries worldwide that don’t officially or unofficially celebrate a holiday this time of year.
Some may even call it community building to celebrate Christmas. After all, if one of the goals of Christmas is “peace on earth, goodwill towards men,” then does it really matter if the celebration is secular, religious, or something else altogether? The goals are the same: charity toward one’s neighbor, love toward one’s family, and a season of peace and joy. Nothing is more welcoming anywhere than a smile. That makes a smile a great way to build community, whether in the office, throughout a business, down the street, across town, or around the world.
So if it’s truly a white Christmas readers want, the solution is simple: Open up and give a great big grin. Those pearly whites will light up the season and make a white Christmas a reality anywhere and everywhere.