Tag Archives: Collaboration and Gratitude

What I Learned From Christmas Specials

By Gail Z. Martin

OK, I’m a total sucker for Christmas TV specials, especially the ones I grew up with as a kid.  You know—Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  All the Rankin-Bass specials with the stop-motion animation.  Once the tree is up, I want to curl up in my jammies with a bowl of popcorn and watch through all of the DVDs (and VHS) copies, preferably with my husband, kids and dog close by.  It’s just part of the holidays to me.

It occurred to me that I’ve been watching some of these specials for 40-some years (amazing that they look so good on TV screens much larger than the show’s producers ever expected).  So I guess it’s only logical that they’ve made an impression on me.  As we go through this holiday season, here are some things I’ve learned from holiday specials.

  • Even a miracle needs a hand.  (Twas the Night Before Christmas)
  • Don’t judge a reindeer by his nose (Rudolph)
  • You can be whatever you want to be—even if you’re an elf who wants to be a dentist (Rudolph)
  • Don’t overlook the needs of others in your rush for the perfect holiday (Berenstain Bears)
  • We all need a little Christmas, right this very moment (Muppet Christmas)
  • Bumbles bounce (and so can you)  (Rudolph)
  • Learn to love your noisy neighbors (Grinch)
  • See with your heart, not just your head (Twas the Night Before Christmas)
  • Buy presents early to avoid mayhem (Jingle All the Way)
  • Count roll before leaving on vacation (Home Alone 1, 2, 3)
  • Don’t plug in too many Christmas lights (Christmas Vacation)
  • Keep the cat away from the Christmas tree (Christmas Vacation)
  • People matter more than profit (A Christmas Carol)

Whatever holiday you celebrate, may it be merry and bright.

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Collaboration and Gratitude

By Gail Z. Martin

When you’re adding to your gratitude journal, don’t forget to include all those with whom you collaborate.  Think about collaboration in the broadest sense.  Who enables you to carry on your life as you know it?  (In other words, if your life and business were a book, who would be in the acknowledgements?)

Here are some ideas:

  • Partners, joint-venture and otherwise
  • Vendors, suppliers, and your landlord
  • Family, friends, cheerleaders of all sorts
  • Sales, marketing, web development, technical and repair professionals
  • Employees and contractors
  • The accounting and administrative folks who help you stay on top of things
  • Your medical providers who keep you running on all cylinders
  • Your gym buddies, walking group, fitness trainer, yoga instructor or the nice lady behind the counter at the Y
  • The people who bring you what you enjoy in your free time—authors, bloggers, reporters, YouTube video creators, social media friends and others who touch your life every day.
  • Supporters of all kinds: your daycare provider, dog walker, mail carrier, FedEx delivery person, the barista who makes your morning espresso with a smile, the dry cleaner who knows how you like your cuffs pressed, the parking lot attendant who keeps an eye on your car, and the co-worker in the next office, desk or cubicle who covers for you when you have to miss work

All of these people, in large and small ways, hold together the fabric of your life.  If you had to move to another city, or if something happened to any of them, you would feel a loss and see a hole in your “normal” day.

So why not take a moment to say “thank you” for their help, friendship, support, cheery wave, encouragement and good work?  It’ll make you feel good, make them feel great, and help take the edge off the holiday season rush.  Even better—it’s a priceless gift that costs nothing, requires no wrapping or shipping and has no environmental impact.  Say “thank you” today and see what happens!

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