The Herald Bulletin

December 7, 2012

Verna Davis: Bah, humbug! A few ways to beat the grouchy mood

By Verna Davis
For The Herald Bulletin

— Many times I have been accused of finding humor in situations where there should be no humor. Aside from that one funeral years and years ago, I have learned to respect solemn occasions such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, church services, and choir performances.

I know there are lots of you out there who are just like me — ever ready with a giggle or a belly laugh. But I know that there are some of you out there who are perpetually grouchy. Holiday cheer does not cheer you. But I know that deep in your heart, you don’t want to be this way. Why not do one or two of the following suggestions and see if that helps lighten your mood this December?

While standing in those long lines at the cash register, start singing “Frosty the Snowman.” At first, people will try to ignore you. (I know this by personal experience.) However, by the time you get to “He led them ’round the streets of town right to the traffic cop,” some of the more daring will be singing with you. Encourage the rest to join as you sing, “And he only paused a moment when he heard them holler ‘STOP!’” (Don’t forget to really holler “Stop!”)

Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Then, think about the way things are “different” because you are alive. For instance, my parent’s lives would have been vastly different, had I not been born. (They would have had more money and less gray hair.) Without me, my husband might have married that flighty creature he was dating before he met me. (Jealous? Me? Nah!) Remember that George Bailey’s angel, Clarence, said, “No one is born to be a failure. No one is poor who has friends.” After you realize your life has more value than you thought, open your front door and shout, “I LOVE YOU, BEDFORD FALLS!”

While sitting in your car at a traffic light, practice saying “Ho! Ho! Ho!” If the guy in the car next to you notices, roll down your window and give him your best “Ho! Ho! Ho!” When the light turns green, call out, “On, Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen. On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen!”

At least once a day, especially when in an elevator or while shopping for sweet potatoes, sing “Joy to the World.” Follow up with a rousing version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

As often as possible, quote Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Finally, today, and every day until Christmas, read Luke 2:1-20. Let the passage chase away thoughts of having a blue Christmas. Follow the example of the shepherds when they returned to their fields, “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Do these things as often as needed until your gloomy, grouchy, Grinchy, Scroogy attitudes disappear. Then, tonight, before you settle down for a long winter’s nap, speak aloud the perfect Christmas benediction: “God bless us, every one!"

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.