Creating a Christmas Habit
"Laws are never as effective as habits."
I like the holidays because this is a kindly time of year.
Not because we pass laws requiring citizens to commit random acts of kindness, but because we habitually behave more like Christ as we prepare to celebrate his birthday. Our behavior is contagious.
Jesus admonished the Pharisees to become more concerned with the spirit of the law than the letter of the law. More of us tend to regulate our behavior.
Industry psychologists tell me it can take as much as three years to change a simple habit. For example, where you take the first stroke with a razor or which pant leg you pull on first. That's why most athletes and team are better as seniors than they were as freshmen. Running a play correctly requires doing it over and over again... until doing it correctly becomes a habit, an unconscious reaction.
It takes repetition and focused discipline to create a desirable habit, one you do automatically without thinking. We somehow manage to treat one another with more sensitivity this time of year. But we ought to make that a year-round habit.
Because service is our motive and cooperation is our creed, employees and members enjoy a closer relationship than much of the business world. We are, however, still often guilty of taking each other for granted.
A member comes into the office upset about an obvious error on his account. The lady at the counter accepts the responsibility and apologizes for an error she did not make, and sneaks him a homemade brownie from the break room.
During a winter ice strom , the lady of the house fills a thermos with hot coffee and provides sandwiches for the weary workers as they restore service to her home.
Practicing random acts of kindness and unconscious acts of compassion is a Christmas habit that should last all year.
And that would be far more effective than any law.
It all started at the end of 2000. We started celebrating my 50th birthday (Jan, 2001). We took off before Thanksgiving and spent 6 weeks in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was just the beginning of my 50th birthday celebration, I spent the rest of the year traveling the world, Malasia, Singapore, London, Paris, and Massa, Italy.
I had 2 grandchildren at this time. Jessica was 4 years old. Abigail was just 11/2 years old. I thought that I would like to do something to make it special for Jessica since I wasn't going to be there for Christmas.
So I searched the French Quarter and the Market for things to send her. I got this idea of 12 days of Chirstmas. So I gathered beads, dolls, alligators, masks, candy and pencils. The post office was just blocks away from the apartment that we rented. So everyday I took my little packages to the mail box and mailed them to Jessica.
It was a BIG HIT! She would sit by the glass door everyday waiting for the mailman to come.
So, it's now 2006 and I am out trying to find items for the 12 days of Christmas. I have been using alot more candy and gum since I now have 7 grandchildren to send to. 4 of the little darlings are at one address, two at another and one at my daughters homes. So postage is not so bad.
|Just do the figures
- 1 x 7 = 7 items for the first day
- 2 x 7 = 14 items for the second day
- 3 x 7 = 21 items for the third day
- 4 x 7 = 28 items for the fourth day
- 5 x 7 = 35 items for the fifth day
- 6 x 7 = 42 items for the sixth day
- 7 x 7 = 49 items for the seventh day
- 8 x 7 = 56 items for the eigth day
- 9 x 7 = 63 items for the nineth day
- 10 x 7 = 70 items for the tenth day
- 11 x 7 = 77 items for the eleventh day
- 12 x 7 = 84 items for the twelfth day
- Making a grand total of 546 items. So you have to keep your cost way down.
- Now figure the postage (at $5.00 each) for 12 days x 3 = $180.00