It’s The Sap–Sappiest Season of All

I’m a sensitive person. I tear up a little when Oprah gives things to people. I smile uncontrollably and coo when I see baby animals do something cute. I see it as a personal attack when people don’t say, “have a nice day!” You know, I’m just a little thin-skinned. (Okay, okay, I have paper skin of the same hue, but let’s not split hairs.)

But thankfully and magically, the holidays have changed that (or at least, they have made my affliction less noticeable). Around this time of year, I am suddenly surrounded by a cloud of sentimentality from the people I interact with daily. What is it about this season (the end of one year, the beginning of the next) that makes people bust out their tissues and tell you how they really feel about your relationship? Like, if I don’t see you for the rest of 2014, I need you to know that I really enjoyed your company for the past 360 days. Could this be the result of the proximity of our loved ones? Or possibly some commercialism brainwashing?

Wherever it comes from, I think it is wonderful. Finally! says the CareBear inside of me, Finally, we’re expressing our feelings in a meaningful way! Group hug, everyone! No, come on, get in here and get your pipin’ hot slice of love!

And I do love it. I’m so thankful that people are a bit more free with their feelings, a little bit sappier around this time, so their loved ones and acquaintances receive some type of acknowledgement for everything in the past year. After all, everyone wants to be reminded of what their presence means to someone. That’s a no-brainer.

But what isn’t a given for everyone is that he or she will have another year to spend with you. So, don’t forget to spread the love around more than once every December. Remind your friends, family, employees, and acquaintances that you are glad that you’ve crossed paths on this great journey of life. Believe me, you’ll be happy you said something when you did.

Author’s note: I will not be posting for the rest of the week, but I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday! Love, BaileyDailey

How To Give This Holiday Season

It does not matter what you celebrate. There is always a moment in the holiday season when you will say, “Crap. I didn’t get something for so and so.” Or “So and so bought me something, but I didn’t get something for them.” And you end up re-gifting something in your own closet or bookshelf just because you don’t want them to think that you are a bad person or that you weren’t thinking of them.

Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that little scenario above. That is going to happen until the end of time. I bet cavemen even did that. Like, Ugh, I got a rock for Bah, but she did not get anything for me. I’m going to write about this on my cave wall diary. 

Because people are forgetful to start with and that will only increase every year around this time.

But I can help you with deciding whether you should get someone a present in the first place. You know, when you aren’t sure if you should give a gift because of some awkward etiquette rules or because you think that they won’t get you something in return. Well, I’m going to make this seriously easy for you. Do it. Get them something. Something small, if you must. But just go ahead and do it.

Why?

Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a gift for someone that has made your day or helped you along the way. Don’t think of it as a preemptive strike. Just think of it as putting good vibes out there. Making someone smile. There’s nothing wrong with that after all, and as far as I can tell, there will never be.

Your mailperson, zumba instructor, favorite barista, co-worker, boss, dog groomer, toll taker, pizza delivery person, masseuse, hairstylist, or caddy will not forget that you thought of them this holiday season.

So, forget the rules. Forget that it might make a situation awkward. Instead, think more of what conversations it could start up. What you might gain from a thoughtful gift between you and a new friend.

Think of what could be, instead of what is. That is what the holiday season is all about.

Believing in Belief

Every holiday season, the “b” word starts to form on a lot of people’s lips.

No, not that “b” word. (Although I am sure you could find some use for other “b” words in your vocabulary.) I’m talking about the other “b” word. As in, “believe.”

Suddenly, around this time of year, we are asked to believe in miracles, in Santa, in people. The holidays seem to be formed around belief.

But what about believing the rest of the year? Does belief take its own holiday? (Looking at religious institutions, I am sure that many religious leaders will tell you that it does.)

But why? Why do we only emphasize belief once a year?

Well, I say we should do something about it. We should start inviting belief in out of the cold before the holidays. We need to start believing in belief all year round.

Because belief changes everything. When you believe in yourself, you own the room. When you believe in a higher power, you feel secure and loved. When you believe that people are terrible and capable of nothing, well, you know what to expect when bad things happen, now don’t you? Belief will keep you young at heart, no matter how old you get.

And belief costs nothing. It does not expire. And just because someone may have a different belief than you does not mean that yours will be lessened.

Of course, I understand why people don’t. Belief in anything, not just religious faith, makes us vulnerable. It suggests that we have a weakness. It gives our enemies the rope to make a noose. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we allowed ourselves to have beliefs, then we could then tolerate them in others.

So, this holiday season you should give more. You should smile more. And of course, you should believe more. But after the holidays are done, you should keep belief around. For those resolutions that you rarely, ah, resolve and beyond. Make belief as real a part of your life as the stress is, and you will be able to balance it all out. Believe me.