From the Communications Chair

Celebrating the Holidays

No matter which holiday you celebrate, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or my favorite, Festivus most will agree the success of the season is measured by the fun, the food, the family times, and most importantly, the gifts.  In fact, the U.S. economy is based on the holiday gift giving season. Many retailers report as much as 40% of their annual sales in the period between the day after Thanksgiving come to be known as Black Friday until Christmas Eve.

We obsess over what gifts to buy and give by searching every advertisement, website, tweet, post, and commercial to find the hottest new toys or gadgets that our loved ones “must have” We then imagine their faces and responses when they open their gifts. However, do we ever consider giving out the one gift everyone wants, will not break our gift giving budget, never goes out of style, will not be returned or exchanged, and is always appreciated, but seldom received?  A simple compliment.

Day after day we are consumed with the details of our lives. We go to work, take care of our responsibilities.  We spend a growing amount of time on social media communicating. We express our feelings, reveal our trials and tribulations as well as the sordid details about our lives we feel everyone needs to know.  But how much time do we spend personally complimenting someone or telling a friend what they mean to us? Imagine if we logged onto our social media accounts and instead of seeing someone post pictures of their restaurant experience or a complaint about a situation they said: Thank you for being my neighbor and friend? (Too Mr. Rogers-ish?) But seriously how would we feel if we logged on to see someone post a heartfelt compliment or acknowledgment for a deed well done? It just may just change our whole outlook for the day.

I cannot tell you that this year in lieu of gifts I am going to shower my family and friends with compliments and endearments.  We all know it would probably shorten my FB friend list significantly and mark the last time I was invited to holiday parties, especially the one in my very own home.  But this year I will make an attempt to include a note and a personal thank you to let those know how much they mean to me.  What do I expect to come of this “movement”? I am not sure. But I do know this.  What better time of year than now to test a strategy intended to put a smile on someone’s face?  And who knows, it might just become a year-round event.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  The fact you did shows you are a very patient and kind person. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Festivus, Happy Holidays.  And a most importantly Happy, healthy, and safe new year.  Let’s do more of this next year!

Rob Reichstein
Communications Chair
Desert Ridge Community Association