Let's Make the Holidays Good Enough
December 4, 2017

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Are these lights amazing or what? I wrote the family a thank you note to express how much I appreciate their hard work to make our neighborhood festive.


‘Tis the season to run around like crazy, spend too much money, drink too much eggnog and burn the candle on both ends.

Every year I’m bogged down by expectations – mostly my own. The holidays are supposed to go a certain way. They’re supposed to be magical and perfect. And whose job it is to make sure that happens? MINE.

That’s a tall order for this mortal.

What if I try something different this time around? What if I aim to make them enjoyable, fun and good enough?

I decided to do the 29gifts.org challenge after hearing from friends about its powerful impact and how it helped them slow down. The concept is that you give something away every day for 29 days. Something small or something big.

So I dove in - I wrote a thank you to the family a few blocks over that puts up my favorite decorations every year; sent nail polish to a friend after she commented that she liked mine (Opi’s Lincoln Park After Dark); gave extra tips to waiters; held the door for strangers; hand-delivered flowers to a friend; baked cookies for my son’s soccer team; and paid for the coffee of the person in line behind me.

Some days the challenge was super annoying and felt like a chore. Once or twice, I even had to jump out of bed and order something online before the clock hit midnight. But, most days it was so much fun and brought me a ton of joy.

I noticed that I felt more engaged in the world. I was always on the lookout for someone to give to, and I got really creative. I enjoyed the simple stuff around me – the lights, the sounds, the faces, the smiles. I was actively looking for ways to connect, but only by giving, not getting.

It was so simple, and it felt so good.

What if I approached every single day this way? Just showing up. Looking to connect. To give. Not to get. Phone down, head up.

Do you see anything for yourself in this story? Perhaps a different way you’d like to engage with the world? Are there expectations you’d like to shed? I’d love to hear from you!

  

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