I love Thanksgiving more than the average Pilgrim—any excuse to consume a heaping pile of turkey and mashed potatoes smothered with an overarching American history lesson is worth both a second helping and a slice of pumpkin pie. Yet, even as a self-proclaimed stuffing enthusiast, I’ll be the first to admit that Thanksgiving’s placement in between Halloween and Christmas isn’t a viable excuse to mute “Jingle Bells” until the end of the month.
Last week, I broadcast the second-annual #CocoaAtMidnight celebration—a post-Halloween kickoff to the holiday season, set to the soundtrack of Christmas music and clinking, hot chocolate-filled mugs. Despite the begrudging feedback I received from scrooges— err, students, who aren’t quite ready to blast their holiday playlists, I elfishly powered through the Instagram live stream of our late-night festivities, eager to spread some holiday cheer.
It is the most wonderful time of the year, indeed.
Three days later, during our second quest of the holiday season (expanding my ever-growing collection of ugly Christmas sweaters, of course), Goodwill’s unimpressive selection of festive attire inspired my friends and I to seek retail therapy elsewhere. We perused the thrift store’s shelves of tattered paperbacks until we came across the perfect volume to complete the four books for $0.99 deal: A Cup of Comfort for Christmas: Stories that Celebrate the Warmth, Joy, and Wonder of the Holiday.
While not quite as horrendously displeasing to the eye, the anecdotes housed in this book carry the same festive coziness as a used, 30-year-old holiday garment; I impulsively threw it in the cart, eager to spend the holiday season immersing myself in its heartfelt stories.
As it turns out, the nostalgic narratives of goodwill that I found at Goodwill reminded me of the joy our overly-dramatized tree lighting and caroling extravaganza brought to people’s otherwise average Tuesday evening. In fact, they got me thinking:
Why not keep spreading this same Christmas cheer all season long?
That’s why today, I’m kicking off my Merry Musings series— an eight-week quest to find little moments that embody the Christmas spirit. While it may be a little too early to break out my ugly Christmas sweaters and frolic through campus reenacting scenes from the movie Elf, it’s never too soon for everyone to spread merriment by intentionally promoting compassion, generosity and joy.
From now until December 25, you can join me in my quest to discover examples of Christmas spirit by snapping pictures of happy moments you notice throughout the week or by completing random acts of kindness. Share your stories on social media with the hashtag #MerryMusings, and help keep the spirit of the season alive throughout the most wonderful time of the year—Thanksgiving included.
What is your Merry Musing this week?