Reading Time: 2 minutes
Tis the season for holiday parties! Your reaction to that statement probably reflects a few factors. First, it might depend on how you feel about getting together in public. It also might depend on how you feel about the holidays. But maybe the most powerful indicator about how you feel about holiday parties is what kind of festivities you have been to in the past. Last night I attended one that was great. And it got me to thinking…what makes a great holiday event? Here is a quick (and likely incomplete) list. 1. Socialization: I love it when I get the opportunity to meet and greet with great people. The holidays can be a time when you are so caught up getting ready for them, that you don’t take time to enjoy them. The best parties allow the time for you to connect with good people. 2. Food And Drink: Whether it’s finger foods or a full meal, then best holiday gatherings offer the chance to enjoy something good to eat and drink. 3. Laughter: For me, I love any event when I get a chance to laugh. Whether you create that opportunity for your guests, or it happens naturally, laughter is the best holiday song. Create an atmosphere where everyone can have some fun. 4. Appreciation: The holiday season is a great time to show your gratitude. Whether it’s for your team or for your customers (or both), a cool holiday party gives you the chance to say “thank you.” Last night I attended a party where the leaders got up and personally expressed gratitude over the microphone, then they gave each attendee a gift on the way out. It was simple and classy. So if you are planning a holiday event, those are a few simple keys to keep in mind. But as I said, this list is likely woefully incomplete. What makes holiday events for you? Let us know! Make sure you never miss an update! It’s time to become a VIP! Sign up for our VIP list here.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
One of the great Christmas traditions in Ohio is the Candle Lighting Ceremony in Roscoe Village. People come from all over the country to enjoy the music, the message and the magic. Recently, I was honored to be asked to be the “story teller” for the service. It was a picturesque evening. The crowd was amazing. The snow fell. The hot cocoa was, well, delicious. Below is the “story” I read. I hope the message resonates with you!I am so honored to be a part of this holiday tradition here in Roscoe Village. When I was asked to do this I was not only honored, but overwhelmed. When they asked me to be the storyteller, I assumed there was “a story” that I was supposed to read. It turns out, that story is up to me. That can be exciting, but intimidating too! What story epitomizes Christmas? What has not been done before? What would be inspirational and appropriate? It can be a daunting task. But as I thought and researched, and well, googled different ideas, a theme kept coming up again and again. Kindness. Giving. The power of the human spirit. See if this sounds familiar. It’s a week before Christmas. A young son watches his father sitting on the front porch. His father is upset but the son doesn’t know why. The mailman comes up and asks the father “what’s wrong?” The father answers, “The kids are sick and the rent is due and I don’t have the money to pay,” the father replies. The mailman asks “how much is rent?” When told the amount, the mailman takes out the money and gives it to the father. “But what if I can’t pay you back,” the father asks. The mailman says “Don’t pay it back…pay it forward.” These are the kinds of stories that we love. They represent the kindness of the Christmas season. I think that’s why so many of us long for the holiday season every year. It’s why the Hallmark channel starts playing Christmas movies in, well, August. We long for the feeling. We long for the memories. We long for the kindness of the holidays. During this time we are reminded, “It’s better to give than receive.” We take the time to put money in the bucket for the Salvation Army. We help kids shop for warm coats. We donate to charities…and though it helps them…it really helps us. You see as humans we are biologically wired to help others. But it seems like the rest of the year we lose sight of it. Studies will tell you that about 89% of what we see in the world today is negative. Do you believe it? I do too. But in this time of year, we seem to see more public displays of what can be right with humans…not just what is wrong. We see the kindness of the Christmas season. And I am excited about that…and thrilled to be here today. But let me ask you this. What if it didn’t stop? What if we didn’t have to wait for the next holiday cycle to share, to donate, to be kind. We don’t. As I said we, as humans, are wired for kindness. Science will tell you it’s true. You see, in our bodies there is a chemical called Oxytocin. It is a chemical in our bodies that decreases stress, makes us happy, helps circulation and generally improves our health. Good stuff right? How is it released? Kindness. Science shows us that when a person receives an Random act of kindness, they get a boost of Oxytocin. Makes sense right? They got something…they feel good. The study goes on to show us that the person who did the random act of kindness gets an equal boost of oxytocin. That is amazing. You get good by doing “good.” But the best part of the study is that a person that just observes the random act of kindness gets an equal boost of oxytocin! What a revelation. So when someone tells you that you cannot make a difference in the lives of others by being kind…you can be sure they are wrong. So let’s channel this. Let’s take the Kindness of the Christmas season and keep it going. Let each of us today be a LIGHT to the world. Christmas Kindness does not have to stop after the New Year. Smile. Give generously. Be kind. Then when you look for a story of Christmas kindness…the story can start with you. Thank you…and have wonderful holiday season! Make sure you never miss an update. Sign up for the VIP newsletter here.