Available Date & Time: Oct 8, 2013 – 10:45AM ET
I’m a grinch. I’ll admit it: I work on Christmas day. The song One Girl Revolution Battle Mix was done on Christmas while the rest of the world unwrapped presents. I have forgotten my birthday more than once. I invented a holiday called Thankmas in which I visit family between Thanksgiving and Christmas to avoid holiday travel. If it’s after December 25, I call it Chinese Christmas.
I think it goes back to college.
I was a 16 year old freshman and my parents were overseas for four years of missions. I had no family or friends in the area. When most people went home for the holidays, I had to find somewhere to stay when they closed the dorms. I once considered hiding in the dorms with canned food. It didn’t seem like that big a deal at the time, but I think I closed a door to my heart to protect myself from the loneliness.
As Brene Brown’s research has shown, when you numb yourself to negative feelings, you numb the positive ones too. We come into the world full of joy and enthusiasm, but as we get hurt, we build walls around those places. We build up calluses to protect our hearts. Eventually, we lose our sense of wonder and trust. We become like Chicken Little, believing the sky is always falling. When nominated for a Grammy our response becomes: “We won’t win, Toby wins everything.”
And the sky does fall. Bad things do happen. But when we are around actual tragedy, it shows us what’s truly important. To walk through the children’s surgery center at Vanderbilt is a lesson in what matters. To see the hopeful smile on a bald 11 year old as she is wheeled off to chemo is to know what it is to face your challenges with courage and grace.
Every day is our chance to choose joy. To celebrate the gift of life, the gift of time. To unwrap whatever presents the day brings. It’s been my New Year’s resolution for the last few years to live in gratitude. I have to redo it every year because I haven’t learned it yet. I still let myself fret and freak out, but it’s my hope that with enough practice and determination, someday it will be said of me that I lived my life like every day was Christmas.
Max Hsu (Producer, Songwriter, Keys for Superchick)
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