December 23, 2010

the 12 days of charissamas

in the seventh grade my best friend blake gave christmas a beautiful, new name... charissamas. through the years, i have acquired a nice little pile of "merry charissamas" cards which i recently found in a keepsake box and will treasure forever. and in the spirit of this unofficial holiday, i have been known to dress up as a charissamas tree which involves wearing a tree skirt as a skirt, wearing boots for their stumpy effect, wearing a tree topper on my head, and wrapping my whole body in charissamas lights. but i realized that aside from dressing as a tree and practically lighting myself on fire, i have done little to further the efforts of making my holiday official. therefore, in the spirit of charissamas and this holiday season, i give to you a revised list of a certain 12 days and what i've decided to do with them...

the 12 days of charissamas:

1) on the first day, give 1 compliment. to everyone you encounter. focus on the positive. don't be a regina george by saying something that you don't sincerely mean. but watch people's reactions as you tell them that they look really good in blue or that they really did a great job on that project or that they smell like petunias. watch their faces break out into smiles and their shoulders rise a little higher as you change the whole course of their day with a few kind words of affirmation.

2) on the second day, thank GOD for 20 things. make a list of the 20 things that you are most grateful for, and hang it on your wall. if some of those things are people, let them know. write thank you notes. write long letters. spend today expressing all the thanks you've been storing up. show your appreciation through spending time with someone or in letting someone know just how fantastic he or she is and how you just wouldn't be quite the same if he or she weren't in your life.

3) on the third day, make 3 overdue apologies. we all have that list of people that we have either intentionally or unintentionally hurt who are hoping that we one day get the courage to make things right. that day is today. seek out 3 people whom you might have mistreated. muster up all the courage you can. and don't let the sun set before you've done all you can to calm the storm.

4) on the fourth day, find 400 reasons to laugh. this is critical for burning all the calories that you're about to consume. laugh until it is absolutely impossible to breathe. spend time with children and old people as much as possible. watch funny movies. read funny books. and if you can't find anything else that's funny, learn to laugh at yourself. people go from laughing at you to laughing with you as soon as you start laughing, too.

5) on the fifth day, give 5 million smiles. walk everywhere pretending to be a walmart greeter. become buddy the elf, and make smiling your favorite. you will decrease today's wrinkle formations and prevent some cancer. smile at cute children. smile at questionable old men. smile at squirrels and birds. smile at the rudest person you know. and sugar the world with your sweetness.

6) on the sixth day, make 6 batches of cookies.
or 600 oreo balls. or 6 of something, but it has to be homemade. whether your skill be baking or underwater basket weaving, make something in multiples of 6 and give it to other people. and if what you make turns out ugly, give it to your mom as she will have to love it because she's your mom.

7) on the seventh day, forgive 7 people. make a list of the people who have intentionally or unintentionally hurt you, and forgive them without a second thought. stop pondering the reasons or overanalyzing the cause of the situation. drop your pain like a hot pocket, and forgive 70 times 7 times. because when you choose to forgive, you set a prisoner free only to realize that the prisoner was yourself.

8) on the eighth day, find the answers to 8 questions you've always wondered. use google. call your mom. read a book. but seek and discover the answer to any question that's been on your mind. ask other people hard questions. find out things you never knew. learn random facts just because you can, and most importantly discover truth about yourself.

9) on the ninth day, share 9 secrets.
the catch is that they all have to be secrets about yourself. tell someone your most embarrassing moment. or your biggest fear. tell a story you've never told. or tell someone how you feel. share your hopes. and share your struggles. open up. let go. let people know that they can relate to you. lose your pride, and share the gift you have the most of...yourself.

10) on the tenth day, record 10 memories. write down the top 10 moments of your year that you never want to forget. include a mixture of the happiest moments that made you soar and the saddest moments that made you grow. write down when, where, why, and how they happened and also share the feelings those moments created. keep the record in a journal or just a notebook so that you can return to it and remember.

11) on the eleventh day, make 11 new year's resolutions. disregard 10 of them. you're going to anyway. focus on the 1 resolution that is actually attainable and hone in on it. you're probably not going to lose 60 pounds or exercise every day, but you probably will be able to remember to wear your retainer every night. keep it simple. don't overshoot and get discouraged. dream big. but be a realist.

12) on the twelfth day, choose 12 themes. for the months of the new year. let january be a month of encouragement. or february be a month of discovering a new hobby. or march be a month of pet peeve toleration. decide on a theme and plan to use that month to concentrate and improve in that area. take a whole month to send people cards or just encouraging words. take a whole month to study for that big test in your future. or take a month to organize and declutter your life. be original and find specific areas to focus on to become even better.

the beauty of the 12 days of charissamas is that they can take place on any 12 days of the year, and my personal celebration will be starting this year on the real christmas day.

special note: many of my blog posts are inspired by the amazing friends whom GOD has blessed me with. so if a conversation with a certain friend inspired the creation of a post, i'm going to start giving credit at the bottom of the post. so...

special thanks to: spencer carroll

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