I hope you are having a good week, my friend. I hope you are feeling loved and that every day you’ve been noticing something beautiful in the world, maybe a tiny bird or someone’s smile.
If this hasn’t been such a good week, I hope that there’s someone in your life who gives great hugs. And I hope you’ve been extra kind and gentle to yourself. I hope you make some tea with honey. I hope you go look at the stars and wear your favorite knitted scarf.
No matter how you are feeling when you read this email, I hope it makes you smile and remember that, no matter what, we can create a tiny bit of celebration. (Even when things feel dark and hard. Especially then!)
Do you remember last week when I wrote to you about the joy of creating a Super Supper?
(No problem if you don’t remember. Click here to read!)
A few days after I sent it, I received a note from Christina Shook, a friend whom I’ve known for more than 20 years.
Christina wrote to tell me about a “Fakesgiving Celebration” she hosted! (Don’t you just love that name?!)
Christina told me that she’d seen some turkeys on sale at the market and so she bought one. She said, “Then we invited some new friends over for dinner. We did the whole (but simplified) Thanksgiving dinner thing — stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce. We set the table fancy, too, of course. It was a hoot!”
You can imagine how delighted I was to hear Christina’s story.
I immediately emailed her back and asked, “What do you think it was that enabled you to go from ‘Let’s have turkey’ to ‘Let’s have Fakesgiving?’ How did you make that delightful leap?”
Christina responded, “The leap from turkey to Thanksgiving seemed like a clear path. What are you going to do with 20 pounds of turkey?! You kinda have to share it. Turkey is a naturally celebratory dish that must be shared!”
She said, “One thing leads to another, just like how you described your Super Supper. It’s like that book, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie…”
(Ha ha. In that book, a boy gives a cookie to a mouse and it leads to a glass of milk and a straw and more … and more!)
Christina gave some details: “First the turkey. Then the guests. Then the big tablecloth. Then the candles. Pretty soon you’ve got a Fakesgiving happening!”
She said, “Our friends enjoyed it entirely and they brought the pies. And, of course, we all expressed gratitude and made toasts— which you kinda have to do, with the whole table set with bounty and friends.”
Bravo, Christina! What a Celebration Superstar, right? She took an ordinary turkey and turned it into an extraordinary Fakesgiving dinner filled with special touches, joy, gratitude, toasts, and bounty!
Here are some elements of this story that delight me:
- Christina followed each of the little ideas that dropped in. She didn’t say, “Nah, that’s too much trouble to get out the good tablecloth or to dig out the candles.”
- Christina named the event. Sometimes, simply putting a name to something cements it in our minds as unique and special. We see it differently.
- Christina invited others into the joy.
- Christina made sure to pause during that dinner — offering toasts! — to acknowledge the moment and to intentionally celebrate her friends and the bounty.
- Christina knew that her story would make me happy, so she took the time to write and tell me, thus spreading even more joy!
[Here’s a message just for her: Christina, I am celebrating YOU today! I love this story. I love that you followed the bread crumb trail of creating joy! Woot woot!]
- I also want to celebrate a couple other things that I know about Christina. For one, that she is a talented photographer who intentionally brings beauty, love, and compassion to her work.
- I am also celebrating that she is a caring and loving mother and wife. Through the years, she’s always kept family at the center of her world and have made people a priority in her life.
- Christina has also been a living example of “Say it Now,” by reaching out to me often to thank me for my work or to request a letter for someone during my Birthday Kindness Project.
Please join me today in celebrating Christina.
I hope her story might inspire YOU in some brand new way this week. Will you allow a Give a Mouse a Cookie experience to come to life in some unexpected way?
Listen, this pandemic has weighed us all down with so much grief, illness, and discouragement.
YOU can be the one to lift others up. YOU can be the one to bring tiny moments of you. They don’t have to look like a big ole turkey and a table full of friends. Those moments can be 100% unique to YOU.
I started this letter to you with the word, “notice.” I want to end it with that same really important word.
Please notice what wants to come through you. Notice the little nudges you get. Follow them. Trust them.
Look for the sparkles and tiny pinpricks of light. They will lead you to that experience of turning ordinary days into an extraordinary life.
I love you and am cheering you on, always.
Thanks for who you are. YOU MATTER!
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,