Atypical Holiday Season
“I’m SO #thankful for all my friends and family. #blessed”
“I want to take a moment to reflect on how thankful and #blessed I am this holiday season.”
Starting today, your social media feed is going to turn into the #blessed and #thankful feed. Nothing wrong with that. I’ll likely throw in a cliche yet genuine status too.
But if everyone is expressing this type of gratitude, shouldn’t it lead to a course of action instead of just words?
If you’re #grateful for what you have, shouldn’t that inspire you to actually do something that expresses your gratitude?
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy
Gratitude and thankfulness should trigger action. This post discusses the typical inaction expressed during the holidays, and the atypical actions that could and should be expressed.
Typical Holiday Season
Make social media posts. Buy gifts for family. Make Christmas list of more stuff to get. Go to parties. Dress up. Watch football all day. Eat a lot of food. Maybe go around the table saying what you’re thankful for. Say a family prayer giving thanks.
These are the normal, expected, typical things to do during the holiday season. It’s what we’ve grown up with, everyone does it, it’s the status-quo. Absolutely nothing wrong with those things. I’ll be doing most of them.
But if we’re so thankful and we’re admittedly saying we’re so blessed, shouldn’t we actually do something that expresses what we’re saying?
Gratitude and thankfulness should spark acts of generosity.
I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. But year after year, the typical thing to do is to turn the holidays into a self-serving time of year. Think about it, besides buying gifts for people that don’t even need gifts, what is generous about the typical holiday season?
Atypical Holiday Season
Atypical means different, unusual, an anomaly, doing what most don’t do. Here are some atypical actions…
Going out of your way to make someone else feel like they matter. Raising some money to help feed a family. Taking a couple hours to serve. Spending extra time with your grandparents. Giving one family in need what you wish you could give every family in need. Find a cause or charity you care about, and doing something that makes a difference.
And if you want to get crazy, radically generous, you could do this…
Give up your Christmas.
Instead of making a list of more things you want (but don’t need), what if you made an atypical ask?
Instead of that purse, instead of those Persol sunglasses, instead of your 15th pair of new shoes, instead of that new jacket, instead of those earrings, instead of more things that you logically know you don’t need…
you asked for donations that could make difference in someone else’s life?
For a moment, imagine seeing your expressed thankfulness come alive.
(and the voice of the status-quo weighs in) “Whoa. Now we’re getting crazy. Nobody does that! Christmas is about getting new presents! Only weird charity people do that kinda stuff. Just be normal, no one expects that.”
See, it’s so easy to listen to that typical voice in your head. It’s easy to rationalize, it’s easy to blend in, it’s easy to do what everyone else does. It’s so damn easy to let the resistance of the status-quo control you.
But if no one is being crazy, change doesn’t happen.
If people aren’t being outliers, anomalies, the world doesn’t move forward. It stays the same. It statically plays on a typical record.
What’re you going to do?
If you recognize how blessed and thankful you are this holiday season, what’re you going to do about it? How are you going to express it? Are you going to put it on your social media feed, or are you going to step up, be different and do something that matters?
The cool part is that you can be atypical while still enjoying all the experiences of a typical holiday season. I’m not saying to become Mother Teressa. Do all the family traditions, the fun things, and the typical things we all love. But, on top of that, consider being atypical — express your gratitude in generous acts.
Start at any level of generosity. Maybe it’s giving up one Christmas present (anyone can do that!). Maybe it’s taking your grandparents to dinner. Maybe it’s serving food for just 1 hour. Maybe it’s raising thousands of dollars by a campaign you start.
What matters most is that you do something that expresses your gratitude.
Starting a Christmas campaign with New Story
Through the charity New Story, you’re able to start your very own fundraising campaign that will raise funds for a specific family experiencing life-threatening homelessness. Anyone at any age can do this!
It’s so simple to start..
- Fill out a couple questions to start your campaign.
- Send your customized link via email to friends and family.
- Friends/family crowdfund a life-changing story for a homeless family.
- See pictures and a video the impact you made — share it with those that supported your campaign!
If a campaign is not your thing, and you still want to be atypical,