A Holiday Hypothesis Jasmine Nehilla
Every year on NPR I catch the story of the anon Secret Santa. It’s a true account of a man garbed in a red hat who approaches complete strangers and delivers them crisp $100 bills in the most unsuspecting places. The history of Secret Santa began in the ‘70s with a homeless man. Hungry and penniless, he entered a diner and sat. The diner’s cook noticed him, reached down, appeared to pick up a $20 bill off of the ground and said, “I think you dropped this son.” Thankful, the homeless man pledged to pay it forward. And sure enough, he became wealthy in telecommunications and bePhoto courtesy of: Heather LaShun Photography gan giving money to strangers during the holidays. Before he died, he awarded over a million dollars. His legacy has conhe holidays are in full effect. We’re helping our son with his science fair project tinued on as Secret Santas anonymously call in from all that he terribly fumbled—procrastination over the country. It’s a beautiful movement. Here’s the karma. And the hardest part for him was issue: once cookies are dispersed and gifts are given, we elaborating the steps of scientific method. just let the holiday cheer, the spirit of generosity and free We spent hours formulating a hypothesis which is writ- love dissipate only to be stirred up again in another 337 ten: “If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ days. Why can’t we let this zeal for generosity continue will happen.” We concluded his hypothesis was correct on throughout the year? and he gleamed in excitement as he ate his experiment— we studied the relationship between different sugars and I challenge you to yeast when baking bread. He loves being right, I mean focus on channeling what 11-year-old doesn’t? As I’m writing this we’re finishyour holiday zest... ing up the experiment, rapidly billowing into Thanksgiving and it’s ugly step-sister Black Friday. I love a good sale or super clearance item as much as the next penny- As we close out the year, I invite you to reflect on how pincher. But with horror stories of shopper stampedes you can make this upcoming year better than the last. and overworked employees missing memorable family Instead of reserving your optimism and kindness for the time, Black Friday is my least favorite holiday event. It’s holidays, make alterations to give a little positivity each day. Rather than making resolutions for the New Year a contradiction of the “holiday cheer.” that you’ll abort before winter’s end, I challenge you to In the 28 days from Thanksgiving to December 25th, focus on channeling your holiday zest and become a betall over the country we let the holidays transform us. ter you. Make adjustments to complain less, shell out Somehow we find the time to adorn the exterior and in- compliments indiscriminately, and volunteer a helping terior of our homes with bright lights, menorahs, rein- hand more often. Simply put, you’ll feel better. Your atdeer and cut pine trees. We set budgets to ensure each titude will be better. Ergo, you’ll be a better person. I’ve family member, co-worker and acquaintance receives a heard it takes 21 days to form a habit. Now that you’re wrapped or bagged trinket. We’re more accepting, loving, contemplating this challenge—my hypothesis is if you generous, thoughtful...and encourage others to follow start now, this holiday season will be your best one yet. suit. We tend to be a little more hopeful and complain You will find that your holiday cheer will become exa little less; all while continuing to go to work (probably ponentially greater because you’re focusing on enhanced overtime), attend to our families, maintain our homes for living. Your family dinner banter will be authentic and incoming guests and oh yeah...subsist. Not to mention, genuine, and for some, the holidays be a lot less painful we magically prepare an intricate family dinner involving and discouraging. When your day to day living becomes a magnitude of sides and desserts. Let’s face it, we are at your joyful holiday living and less bah humbug then you our productive prime during the holiday season! And yet, will appreciate the holidays even more. there is something counterfeit about it all.
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