jolly_edited-2Holiday shopping is in full swing and so are all of the aggravations like traffic, grumpy shoppers and lists of social obligations. Last Friday, I set out to finish my holiday shopping with one attitude in mind, and that was to have fun.  Having fun meant seeing people smile, laugh and truly feel the holiday spirit in amongst feeling stressed out.

My first stop was a pharmacy to buy wrapping paper. I picked this place to shop because it was not in the thick of traffic and people. There I met a worker who seemed to just love his job. He had this knack of just putting a smile on your face no matter how miserable you felt. Digging a little deeper, this man used to be a motivational speaker. I talked with him for at least 20 minutes sharing ideas about stress relief and how to get through the holiday season without pulling out your hair. He then kept spreading joy with each and every person he came in contact with. You couldn’t help wanting to hang out in the store and feel the happiness.

Next stop was to send out my wrapped packages to my family. I went to a store that mails packages where stress was thick in the air. I walked up to the counter and filled out the slip to send my package. The clerk asked me if I needed to have the package signed for or could the driver drop it off at the door. I responded, “Well, this is a pretty safe 55 plus community.” She burst into laughter and said, “I started to think about what an unsafe 55 plus community would be… Grandma bikers, Harleys and grandpas with tattoos.” The store workers were all laughing by the end of preparing my package for shipment. The best part was that I was about to travel to by a present at a motorcycle shop. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

I avoided high traffic areas for the rest of the day and shopped at local small businesses. My last stop was at a local gourmet grocery store.  The store always has the best coffee samples and I stopped to grab a little cup of Pumpkin Spice. I grabbed my cart and tried to decide what I was going to take for a holiday party the next day. All of the sudden, I noticed there was something in the cart. I didn’t put anything in the cart yet. It was someone’s purse. I went back to the coffee sample area to ask if anyone had reported a purse missing. There stood the purse owner. She let out a sigh of relief and said”I knew if I didn’t get stressed out, I would find it.” I apologized and we began to talk more about getting ready for Christmas.  We laughed about the purse problem and went on our merry way.

So, as you travel out today for your last-minute shopping, keep the true meaning behind the season, set your intent for happiness and be jolly!

Have any fun stories this holiday season? Please share below! over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives.Lisa specializes stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.

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