Because Diet Coke really does make people happier

Christmas is just around the corner and instead of looking like Santa’s workshop, my house looks like a drunk elf threw a New Year’s craft keger.

Walking through our home on Monday after a weekend of homemade DIY projects with the kids was beyond disappointing. Not only do we have 142 unfinished gifts/ornaments/sewing activities on our list but no one had touched the laundry or the floor or the bathrooms in days.

In other words, Christmas stinks.

On my way home from carpool I stopped at the local Circle K for a 79 cent 44 oz Diet Coke and stood glumly in line. I’d been fighting over the ice machine with the lady behind me and we were both fidgety and anxious to get on the road.

I stood there thinking, does it really have to be like this? Isn’t there a way to feel the Christmas spirit that doesn’t involve acrylic paint and hours of baking?

As I stepped to the counter it hit me. Yes. I can do something nice that doesn’t take any time or much money and won’t necessarily make a difference in the universe.

I can buy that lady’s drink.

And so I did. For a mere 85 cents (with tax) I bought both of us a moment of really fabulous Christmas cheer. I practically floated out to the car as I heard her surprised, “What?!” and hurried to escape before she had the chance to catch up.

So, for all those hot glue gun burns out there, take heart. Here is a list of 10 stupid easy ways to feel the Christmas spirit, in 60 seconds or less.

  1. Buy something for the person in line behind you.
  2. Take your neighbor’s trash can in for them.
  3. Wear a Christmas hat to the store.
  4. Put money in the Salvation Army can.
  5. Take an ornament OFF your tree and have your kids leave it on a lonely neighbor’s door step (you won’t miss it, trust me).
  6. Turn off the news and turn on Christmas music.
  7. Smile and wave (with your whole hand) the next time someone in traffic cuts you off.
  8. Text an old friend and thank them for being part of your life.
  9. Stop someone under the mistletoe (anyone).
  10. Make a bed and leave a Hershey’s Kiss on a kid’s pillow.

The most important moments of the season aren’t made or crafted or chiseled from dried out play dough, they come in short bursts of love when we take a second or two to think of others first. Real needs aren’t met with a printable, they’re met with a hug or a kind word or simply forgiving someone for being less than perfect. That includes you.