I received this from a friend and thought I'd like to pass this on to everyone I could. It's a well written article and very much to the point. 

I call it "Is it Christmas Yet?

My friends, I need some help. Now, I know that doesn't come as much of a surprise to most of you, but my problem is this. I haven't been able to find an overabundance of holiday spirit around this year. Usually people are happy and full of Christmas cheer and wishing each other Happy Holidays, but it doesn't seem to be happening this year. When I mentioned this to a friend, he told me it wasn't close enough to Christmas yet; it was too early to be saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I replied that I wasn't aware of that rule and asked just what the official date to begin giving holiday greetings was. My question was answered with silence.

  Then I began to think that maybe, somehow, it was my own fault I hadn't found the Christmas spirit. I realized that I hadn't been brimming over with exuberance for the holidays and maybe other people were just reacting to my lack of enthusiasm. So for the past few days, I have tried really hard to be as full of the holiday spirit as possible. I must admit that most folks responded in kind. I guess they just needed to be reminded. Or perhaps it was me that needed to be reminded.

All this put me in mind of a little story I had heard a long time ago. It seems that an elderly gentleman was sitting on the porch of the general store in a small town when a couple stopped to talk with him. They said they were thinking of moving and asked the old fellow what the people in town were like. “What were the folks like where you lived before?” the old man asked. “They were not really very nice,” the couple told him. “We didn't get along with any of our neighbors well at all and so we are looking for a new place to live.” The old man thought for a minute and said, “Well, I’m afraid you would find the folks around here are also a bit hard to get along with. It sounds like this might be very much like the place you just left.”

A little while later another couple stopped to talk with the old man and also said that they were thinking about moving to the town. And they asked if the people in town were nice and friendly. When the old man asked about the place they used to live, they both got tears in their eyes and said, “We lived in the nicest town you can imagine. The people were kind and friendly and we really hated to leave. It really was a wonderful place to live.” The old man pondered this a moment and then said, “I think you will find the folks around here will be just as nice as where you lived before and that you will make many new friends if you decide to move here.”

  The point is, of course, that we receive exactly what we give. It has been said a great number of different ways but often we still tend to forget the basic premise. We are judged by the way we judge. Here are a few more thoughts for the holiday season. I have offered them before but they are worth repeating. Take them with you and remember them whenever things aren't going the way you think they should be.

We must forgive in order to be forgiven.

We must love in order to be loved.

We must be joyous in order to spread joy.

We must give in order to receive.

We must understand in order to be understood.

We must listen in order to be heard.

We must help others in order to help ourselves.

We must learn before we can teach.

We must pray before we can share the Grace of God.

We must have peace in our hearts,

Before we can have peace on earth.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my Home to Yours