I have been sitting on the idea of having a "Cheer Challenge" as part of our Christmas marketing here at the shop.
I hadn't had a chance to flesh out (man that's a gross saying when you type it) the idea entirely, but the concept was to basically ask folks to share any acts of them spreading cheer in exchange for a chance to win a gift certificate or something.
I started to write it out, but it was feeling too forced.
And then this morning I woke up to a teeny tiny article in our community's online newspaper.
It was the kind of story that probably wouldn't normally make the news, but it struck me as the kind of story we could all use a little more of.
And it inspired me to revisit my idea.
It features a friend of mine, the town I love and one of our new Syrian families.
It's just a story about a big corporation doing something very human and I'm really proud that someone took the time to write it, and our local new source deemed it worth sharing.
Photo by: Saffron Blaze
It IS worth sharing.
We need to share more of this stuff.
Being good and spreading cheer doesn't have to be complicated. We can do it every day.
So here it is.
Forget waiting for Christmas, I'm proposing a A CHEER challenge starting TODAY.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Send positive letters to the editor like this one.
- Engage with a stranger.
- Help someone who didn't ask.
- Go out of your way to make someone's day easier.
- Step away from your computer and invite someone to lunch.
- Tell someone how wonderful you think they are. And why.
- Write a letter to a friend. Or your mom. Or a kid! Kids love getting mail.
- Resist the urge to share a grievance or a negative news story online. That's a hard one. But do it anyway and share a positive story instead. Share something goofy that makes people smile. Keep things light for a change.
CHALLENGE yourself to spread cheer instead of adding to all the other crap that we read way too much.
So how do you participate?
Simply do something that spreads cheer (aka is positive), share it online in a way that doesn't make you feel like a narcissist, tag me in it @cheerfullymade and use the hashtag #cheerchallenge.
For bonus points (which I will be totally unable to track), encourage your friends to do the same!
The challenge will go from now until December 1st (or forever if it feels good) at which time I'll put all the entries in a virtual hat and pick FIVE winners.
What's in it for you besides the warm and fuzzies?
Now, I'm not a rich woman, but when I enter a contest my favourite thing to win is MONEY.
So, sometime during the first week of December I'm going to give away a $100 gift card to FIVE cheerleaders AND this cozy sweater that I hope you'll wear proudly.
Time to grow this cheer squad peeps.
Let's make spreading cheer where it's at.