I get into Holiday Spirit. I like the heightened energy, articulated gratitude and cheer. The merry making! This year, with two excited, talking, walking kids, I find my holiday moxie to be acute. As we plan for guests and travel, gift-making and thanks-giving, I have been thoroughly explaining and exhibiting what this time of year is all about to my young daughters. And, in saying it all out loud, I think hot damn, how awesome to focus so thoroughly on being with our people, to giving. I want to be in this space all the time.
As my big goal in life is to raise daughters who are compassionate, giving, strong thinking life-lovers, I recently decided we are going to collaboratively give more often. Specifically, in some small or large way, we will give every day.
Just as I had been imagining what this will look like, my friend posted a link to a blog post where the author, Andrea Scher, challenged herself to give away something everyday for the 40 days before her 40th birthday. She says, “I wrote thank you notes. I gave big tips. I consciously let people ahead of me in traffic. I bought two loaves of olive bread and kept my eyes peeled for the lucky recipient of the second loaf. I took friends out to lunch. I mailed a friend a skirt I knew she’d love. I made brownies for all the neighbors. I mailed a friend of photo of herself laughing that I had taken years ago.”
I just love this so much. We all do these things throughout the year but how awesome to give ourselves the daily assignment to seek out a mindful way to be kind and thoughtful? And to do it with my kids. Giving is cumulative and reciprocal. Giving breeds joy. Giving isn’t particular or conditional. Giving is available to everyone, all the time. Everyday, a conscious give, material or otherwise. It sounds fabulously addictive.
Yesterday we woke to cascading giant snowflakes and a few inches on the ground. We were out in it at 9am wandering the neighborhood, making snow angels in the alley. The snow was perfect wet, sticky snowball consistency and, naturally, we started rolling it into snowman body parts. I was feeling giddy and grateful, so I remembered my challenge. We decided that instead of making a snowman in our yard we do it in our neighborhood church yard, by the front door so he could greet people as they strolled up the icy walk to their Sunday service. This church is just down the street from us so we know service is at 10am, we had just enough time. My family hurried around–Andy rolled the body, Margot made a belt, I collected facial components, Ruby cheered.
Making a snowman is fun. Making a snowman named Susan (by Margot, naturally) with a grapevine belt and maple seed eyebrows for people we don’t know is invigorating and awesome.