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“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays from Soupfly!
I hope that all of you are feeling in the Spirit of the Season. The Spirit of the Season to me, is two things- Giving and Serving. It’s during this time of year when we focus more on those two mindsets and actions, than at any other time. It all seems to begin right about Thanksgiving time or shortly after. Why? Because Thanksgiving is all about Gratitude, recognizing the blessings that we have received. Once one realizes that they have much to be thankful or grateful for, the natural response is to think of those that don’t have as much and to give to them. I know a lot of people are focused on shopping and what is that if not putting yourself in the mindset of giving? But in addition to the shopping-because that is usually for the people that we know and love, there seems to be a general attitude of selfless giving in the air. The Spirit of the Season inspires people to want to be a blessing and to serve others.
We see this attitude and Spirit of Giving and Serving everywhere we turn-from the volunteers ringing the bells on the red kettle-(Salvation Army )in front of stores and retail outlets, to the Toys for Tots drives that local businesses and civic organizations contribute to.
There’s extra offerings taken up at our churches and places of worship, as well as donations being collected at the checkout stand. There’s the secret Santas at the office and other variations of it at the company Christmas parties. Most everyone seems to be in the Spirit of Giving. Giving is great. It’s great to be a part of-on either side of the exchange and it puts a smile on both participant’s face. It warms the heart and the giver is always blessed, as is of course, the one who receives.
During the holidays there is also a wonderful Spirit of Serving that comes upon us. This is evident with many more people volunteering at homeless shelters, or other outreaches. It is displayed by the Mom or Dad, or Grandma or Aunt or whoever is “having Thanksgiving or Christmas” this year. I remember when I was younger and we would go to my Grandparents for the holidays-while most of the family was in the living room watching the parade, or football or a Christmas special on tv, Mom and Grandma would be in the kitchen for hours, preparing the big dinner. I know we’ve all probably experienced something similar.
Even though, Moms and Grandmas seem to be the innately, natural givers and servers-they, too, ramp it up big time, during the holidays. Even before the actual holiday of Thanksgiving or Christmas, I remember my Mom and my Grandma Lenac spending an entire weekend in the kitchen baking all kinds of Christmas cookies, and special treats and our family favorite-Potica (poh-teet-sah)-a Slovenian walnut filled nut roll. It was absolutely delicious and I haven’t had it in years. Just thinking about it, makes me wonder where I might find it here in Las Vegas. Although, I might, I know it wouldn’t be as good as my Mom’s and Grandma’s.
This Spirit of Serving is also seen in the people who spend long hours working in retail and the service and hospitality industry. Those who work in retail during this time of year-while they may not be volunteering-as they are getting paid-but they certainly are not in charge of or in control of their schedule or hours. From right before Thanksgiving through January 1st, retail and service and hospitality professionals are Giving and Serving-US.
They put in extra long hours so the stores can stay open late for us to be able to shop and so we can have our holiday gatherings and Christmas parties at their restaurants, hotels etc. While this tends to be a very lucrative time of year especially for those in the service and hospitality industry-it also brings extra stress.
Those of you who do work in the retail industry working those long hours, I thank you and salute you. I encourage you to stay positive minded and have a sense of humor even when you are tired, exhausted and just want it to be closing time. You are not just working a job, you are providing a service. Do it joyfully. Greet your customers with a smile and a cheerful attitude. I know most of you do, most of the time. Make these last few shopping days a time of happiness both for you and your customers. I hope you can find joy in your serving. One thing to be thankful for is-Your store or retail outlet (unless you work in a casino in Vegas) will be closed on Christmas and you’ll be able to spend that time celebrating.
Those of you who work in the Service and Hospitality industry, I know you too, are super busy with back to back to back Holiday and Christmas parties. Many of you are working daily doubles and that is not a reference to Alex Trebek. You are serving huge banquets, and catered office events and dealing with people who go overboard when there’s an open bar at a company party. If you work at a nice upscale event, you may have diners coming to your place who have saved up for a long time to go out for a nice dinner.
Or you may have people who are at your restaurant for the company Christmas party and otherwise they may never have known of your establishment. Be patient with them. You may be overwhelmed with the people at your bar. Be thankful. That is great. Relax, enjoy and be grateful that you are ‘so busy’.
And God bless all of you who every year work on New Year’s Eve so the rest of us can go out and celebrate ringing in the New Year. May you find joy in your serving this Holiday season and realize that you are being a blessing to those that you serve.
Finally, I want to mention one other group that knows a lot about Giving and Serving-the members of our Armed Forces. Whether they are stationed here in the United States, or abroad, the theme of their life, is Serving. They don’t get to choose their days off and if they’re on deployment, then certainly, they are not spending Christmas and Holidays with their family. My son, Josiah serves in our Air Force. Thank you Josiah, and all the men and women that serve our country.
My hope is that all of you, reading this, no matter what your station or profession in life, that you can find an opportunity to give and to serve someone in some way at this time of year. It might mean taking an extra holiday shift so a co-worker can be with their family on Christmas eve. It might mean sacrificing something so you can give a little extra to the offering at church this weekend. It might mean donating to an organization like Toys for Tots, The American Red Cross, or giving the turkey or ham you got from employer to a family that needs it more than you. Whatever form it takes, I hope that you, too, will be blessed with the Joy of Serving-the Joy of the Season-from the original Giver and Server, Jesus Christ.
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Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service
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God Bless you all and Cheers!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all and your loved ones!
Christoff J. Weihman
Las Vegas, NV