“It is a melancholy Object to those who walk thro’ this great Town, or travel in the Country, when they see the Streets, the Roads, and the Cabbin Doors crowded with…” impatience and indifference where all concern is kept within the extent of one’s own nose. Come Christmas time, however, and with the putting up of decorations, hearts seem to grow double in size. Is it because coffee tastes better, sweaters feel cozier, hugs are warmer and that noticeable glimmer of magic wisps once again through the evening air? With the splendid feeling of Christmas nostalgia, we find ourselves cherishing old traditions and revisiting memories of days gone by and with this, we’re a little more patient and a lot more generous. Those strange feelings of love, caring, generosity and patience that have been buried for the past 12 months seem to be bubbling up again with reflections of red and green on every corner.

What’s funny is that Christmas is one of our busiest and most stressful times of the year. We have gifts to buy, meals to cook, events to plan or attend, credit cards to max out and then somehow pay off, people to please, driveways to shovel and colds to fight. Yet each year, we all manage to add in time to volunteer our time, energy or money for those around us. Whether we help out at the food bank, hold the door open for someone around you or just keep our cool waiting in lines longer than those found at Best Buy on Black Friday.

“I do therefore humbly offer it to publick Consideration, that…” we all agree to leave our Christmas decorations up all year long. As long as they’re lavishly hung all around us, we’re kinder, more patient, generous, caring and loving individuals acting for the benefit of others and our community. So, rather than packing it all away with the Christmas decorations at the end of the season, let’s keep it all out to enjoy year-round. Christmas not only in December and July, but in January, February, March and the entire year long!

The absurdity of this Modest (Christmas) Proposal is a simple reflection of what’s missing from our regular lives. We’re probably all happy to say goodbye to 2016. But let’s ring out the final month of the year as though it were one of the best. Then, as we enter into the new year, let’s all agree to bring with us the patience, generosity and kindness that filled the previous month. Continue to help out at the food bank, keep holding doors open for those around you and greet your passerbys with a warm smile. The magic of Christmas doesn’t have to last for only one month. You have the choice to bring it with you throughout the year. Choose to make 2017 the best year yet!