Why Isn’t Every Day A Holiday?
Written by: | Monday, November 7th, 2011
We plan our lives by the annual holiday calendar. And if we didn’t remember, the stores remind us with holiday decorations, music and extra newspaper ads months before the actual holidays. All this fanfare and fuss over a day or a couple of days a year seems crazy to me. What if instead every day were a holiday?
Let me explain. I have never been a big fan of organized gift-giving. To me, it is crazy to create a list of people to give gifts to once a year – including some people we rarely think about or don’t even like (and I’ll argue against the need to buy things in a minute).
Saving up gifts to give on one particular day is like waiting until the annual performance review to give employees performance feedback. What would be more meaningful would be to provide smaller recurring conversations about performance throughout the year – so they are meaningful and useful. This reminds the employee that is always being thought of – cared about – valued. All the same things we feel when we give gifts authentically.
My partner does it best. He is always on the watch for meaningful ways to share with the people he cares about. He knows them. He knows what they like, need and want. Whenever he finds something that another would love, he responds. And it isn’t always something tangible. Sometimes it is a gift, but it could also be a well-timed call, a card, some help, a text or other way of saying “I was thinking about you,” and “you matter.”
Everyday – or any day – is a holiday – a day to celebrate the amazing people in our lives. Everyday – or any day – is a day to think about other and let them know they are cared about and valued.
Okay, a quick rant about buying things. A great site to review this time of year is Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff. She shares a powerful lesson about our incessant need to have more and more and what this stuff does to our planet. If the goal is to share how much we care about another, why must it be with something from the mall or internet? Why is our standard unit of measure about caring based on the dollars spent on something?
What if instead we get to know those who we care about and do something specific for them – spend time, help them with a project, teach them something, make them something, etc. The perfect gift is one that means a lot to the recipient and was given with love and attention.
So, my first wish for this holiday season is that it is not a season but rather a reminder that every day (and any day) should include a reason to celebrate.
My second wish is that every gift be given from the heart and meaningful for the recipient – and not (always) wrapped.
I think my Dad said it best, “When you treat yourself and others kindly and well all year, you don’t need something extravagant once a year.” Do small kind things all year. Celebrate all year. We are gifted with exceptional people in our lives – who should be reminded how important they are – not just one day a year…
Please share this with someone who can benefit from it.