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A few thoughts on joy

Ceramic Christmas Tree

December is a time of year that promises joy.

Joy from family, joy from traditions, joy from peace, joy from gifts.

And of course, joy from spending.

The problem with a lot of our sources of joy is that they are outside our control and so sometimes, they do not deliver.

But no matter how dark the circumstances, joy can often be found in reaching out to someone, in blessing someone else, in giving to someone.

And all of us, no matter our familial, financial, or health situation in life, can choose to bless someone else, even if it’s something as small as smiling at a stranger.


Without kindness, there can be no true joy.

-Thomas Carlyle

A true joy in life should be knowing that you have touched the heart of another human being.

-Steven Aitcheson

There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed.

-Daisaku Ikeda

I hope that you can find joy in blessing someone!  If you do, I’d love it if you shared in the comments.

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Jem Horwood

Friday 13th of December 2019

Like you, I am a piano teacher, and I find joy in working with parents and being flexible and casual, not putting pressure about performances, expectations and rules on them at this time. I try to share my enjoyment of their children with them, because I know how much it means to parents to hear those things. My Christmas party (Sunday) is an open house event over a few hours, which means they can drop in when they want and balance it with their other activities. It's casual and fun, without pressurized performances: students play if and when they want to. I think this lack of pressure is a balm to busy parents at this time of year, and a chance to breathe and notice their children without a list of must-do's and prohibitions ticking off in their heads.

Diane C

Friday 13th of December 2019

Sorry you're under the weather! I think I have the same crud. Worse still, DH and I both got sick the day after Thanksgiving, but we had different symptoms and he's fully recovered while I'm still slogging. Happily, we're going to Palm Springs tomorrow, where it's warm (-ish) and we can get plenty of rest. Best of all, we're going to turn over one of our rentals, so we have a free place to stay and the trip is even tax deductible. I'm not even going to think about all the things I haven't done to get ready for Christmas. No decorations are up yet and now my brother and his family are coming for a surprise visit, beginning on Christmas Day. It's a nice surprise, but ohmygoodness, when am I going to get anything done?

(HeeHee, I have a sneaking feeling that the details may be different, but some of this may resonate with you. Just do the best you can is my motto for Christmas 2019.)


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Hi Kristen, Not related but did you make a thankful list this year ? No pressure but your list is always interesting and always brings me a smile :-) Anyway, thanks for the hard work you put into this blog, it's one of my favorites

Heidi Louise

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Now you have me puzzling over the difference between "joy" and "happy." They aren't quite the same-- I don't use the words interchangeably -- but I haven't quite sorted out why.


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

I absolutely agree, and I've thought about this a lot. Joy is abiding; happiness is immediate. So, circumstances may mean minute-to-minute life may not have happiness, but overall, life can be filled with joy. (As a Christian, I consider this a spiritual gift and am very thankful that it is mine. But I think this gift is available to all people, Christian or not.)


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

My friend's church does a yearly angel tree for the children of imprisoned men and women. Since I only raised sons I always pick a girl from the tree and buy her some clothes. Another donor provides a toy. One of my favorite Christmas traditions.

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