Eight Maids a-Milking – Doing Your Share

There’s a lot of work to do this time of year.

Hanging lights, putting up the tree, buying presents, wrapping presents, cleaning house, cooking. And cooking. And cooking.

That’s if we’re hosting a holiday gathering. If not, we’re probably traveling to one. Which means packing everything into the car and going, across town or across the country. And when we get there, we have a choice: we can have a seat, focus on how tired we are from all the traveling and all the work we’ve already done, let somebody bring us a drink, and have a rest while Mom works on dinner and Dad putters around setting the table, finding chairs, setting up the kids’ table.

Or we can recognize that Mom and Dad are as tired as we are, having worked just as hard to prep and get this far, and they’re still working. Then we can get up and offer to help.

It’s a great time to rest from the strain of the year. But it’s important to recognize that everybody else is tired from their year, as well. Many hands, as they say, make light work, and most things get done more quickly when there are many hands to work on them. In other words, if we help out, everybody gets to rest more.

Not to mention it’s a great way to spend time with the people we love. How many of us have fond memories of doing something really hard–something we really didn’t enjoy at the time–but once it was done, we felt awesome, and proud, and elated at what we’d accomplished? Why not make it a holiday tradition to share that moment with the people we love, especially if they’re already doing it? Isn’t it better, most of the time, to be in the same room working together than in a different room resting?

And if we can manage to do it with a smile–that’s a gift worth giving to our kids. Work is part of life, you see, and if we have to do it anyway, shouldn’t we learn to enjoy it? They’ll learn how to face work from us: do they choose to hate it and shy away from it as often as they possibly can, or do they choose to enjoy it as much as they can and get it done? Their choice will depend on the choice we make.

So enjoy your holiday, but don’t shy away from the work that needs to be done so the rest of the family can enjoy it, as well.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.