Launching the first day of the year before sun-up with a frown, the businessman growled at the hotel desk clerk,

“Your automated wake-up call didn’t come through. Nada! Nothing! It’s a good thing I have a travel alarm, too. It’s a wonder you have running water at this place!”

“So sorry!” the clerk apologized. “I’ll check on it. We have two kinds of fresh coffee ready. Would you like some?”

“Hummph! That’s the least you can do. Do you supposed you can get me to the airport on time—or is the shuttle not working at this hour?!”

“The driver will be ready in less than five minutes.” And he was.

After a well-groomed, smiling driver loaded the businessman’s luggage, the traveler called out, “Next time, I’m staying with your competitor! You can count on it!”

The pressures of the season were evident miles away as well.

At a crowded metro post office, glum customers balanced packages that had to be postmarked before the end of the year. An octogenarian in line smiled at the opportunity to mingle with people around him. Soon he had a lively conversation going with the crowd.

During his ten minutes in line, he nodded as this one told him he’d lived in that city all his life, and that one had been raised on a farm.

“Will you marry me?” he joked with one of the thirty-something ladies. Both  laughed.

“I’m happily married,” she replied, grinning.

Without warning, the octogenarian broke out in a melodious tenor voice, “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth, My Two Front Teeth..”  Even the postal clerks joined in.

By the third phrase, a wave of voices sang out, “My Two Front Teeth! All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth!”

Another attitude entirely – and it left a room full of stressed-out strangers chuckling.

At the end of his life, King Solomon accessed things which he had done and acquired. Much he called meaningless. But one lasting legacy of value was attitude.

“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 8:15 NIV]

In a season known for gifts, what better one to give and receive is one of joy of life bubbling over to others? We can choose our attitudes.  Which will you choose?

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and  website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.] 

About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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