My family and I love watching reruns of the sitcom, Frasier. It's so smartly written, brilliantly cast, and expertly acted. We actually had to STOP watching it for awhile as we were beginning to finish every punchline for the actors before they could deliver them.
Anyway, some of my favorite episodes are the Christmas shows. There is a particularly funny scene in Season 5's "Perspectives on Christmas" which finds Niles in an elevator with three people, two of whom are husband and wife and have a huge, freshly cut Christmas tree taking up most of the space. The dialogue goes something like this:
Niles: "What a beautiful Christmas tree."
Husband: "It's a fire hazard but the wife insists on getting a real one."
Niles: "You know, they sell a fire retardant spray now that you can cover your tree with and it makes it more fireproof."
Husband: "Causes cancer."
Niles, feeling hilariously and frustratingly overwhelmed by the man's inability to see anything but the negative finishes with: "Happy Holidays then."
This punchline gets a huge laugh and the mischievous expression on Niles' face never fails to make me roll. How many of us have constantly tried to spread Christmas merriment only to be met with Scrooges and "humbugs?" (And how many times have we been the Scrooge?)
Last week, I was out running errands and during my two hours out was bullied out of my cart's natural path by a cranky shopper; left without help on the floor by a busy salesman; then finally honked at and almost run over by an impatient man in a gorgeous little red sports car who obviously didn't have to spare the 10 seconds time that it took me to cross into the parking lot. Initially, when he almost ran me down, I said crossly, "Whatever, dude!" Then in the next few steps, I recalled Niles and said aloud, "Happy Holidays then." I started cracking up and felt greatly cheered.
So now I have yet another goal for this Christmas season...instead of getting irritated with someone for whom this Season may not mean what it does to me, I will laugh and say, "Happy Holidays then," in an effort to remain full of the Spirit of the Season and keep the laughter and joy alive in all that I do. Thanks, Niles!