Creating the A+ Life December 2007

Last month, I asked you about the best part of your life. Do you feel like it's ahead of you? What can you do to make this next part the best part?
2007 is winding down...
What are your plans for the holidays? Do you have a few things you have to get done by the end of the year? Or are you sliding through December?

Patient Attention
"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention than to any other talent."--Isaac Newton

I was shopping at Costco right before Thanksgiving and as I made my way out of the store, the woman at the door took my receipt. As she checked my basket, I said, "I bet you'll be glad when this season is over."

The hint of a weary smile appeared and she said, "You know it."

"Have the customers already started acting crazy?" I asked, sympathy apparent in my tone.

"They sure have. But it will be okay."

"Don't let them get to you. Happy Thanksgiving!" I said, starting to leave.

"Same to you." She beamed as I left the store.

This is my favorite thing to do during the holiday season. It is my way of spreading a little joy and understanding. I pay attention to people. Letting folks in retail know how much I appreciate what they are going through makes me feel better and it seems to help the people I come in contact with as well.

We live in a society where we barely make eye contact with each other. As I've suggested before, we need to connect. At no time of the year is that more obvious than during the holidays. People are stressed. They have too much on their plates and they are looking forward (or not) to visits with relatives that often cause them even more stress. They react one of two ways. They either become grouchy or they wall themselves off from others.

What if there were another choice? What if you could dispel the stress by paying attention to other people?

So here are my suggestions for the holidays. First, think of all the people who make your life easier or happier or more fulfilled. Thank them. Thank the mail carrier and the person who picks up your garbage. Thank your spouse and your children. (Just for the holidays, forget all the negative aspects of those relationships.) Thank the grocery store clerk who checks you out, even if he or she doesn't make eye contact with you. Make these thank yous more than the off-hand comment that you usually drop on the way out. Tell them, "I appreciate you for what you are doing to make my life easier and happier."

Second, find something you can do to make someone else's life easier and happier. Stretch a little here. I know that all the people who subscribe to my newsletter are the sweetest, kindest people on the face of the planet. I know that doing things to make people's lives easier and happier is what you do day-in and day-out. I'm suggesting that you find people you normally do not pay much attention to and do something to give that person a good experience over the holidays. Bake a few extra cookies for the next door neighbor. Send a Christmas card with a note in it to someone you haven't talked to in awhile. Do something special and in-person for one of your customers. Connect one-to-one with another human being. Find a way to spread some holiday cheer. Do this without expecting anything, not even a thank you, in return.

The end result will be that you will feel better about the holidays. You might also discover that your attitude is contagious. Maybe you will find people paying attention to you.

Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Joyous Solstice! Have a wonderful holiday season.

Last month, I asked about the 2006 National Thanksgiving Turkeys' names. This year they were May and Flower. Kathy Johnson knew that last year's were Flyer and Fryer. Kathy wins a $25 gift certificate.

This month, I, of course, have to do a holiday themed puzzle. Where was the real St. Nicholas from and what was the first present he delivered? The person with the first correct answer wins a $25 gift certificate.

I'm still looking for a cafe or bakery willing to provide these gift certificates. I pay for them and my readers (over 500 in the San Antonio area) visit your place. Let me know if you are interested or know someone who is. Thanks!

SET in Blue Star
SET: art, fashion, design, and food brought together for a shopping and sampling experience inspired by the innovative culture found in a thriving downtown center. SET is an exclusive event happening in Loft 120 at the Blue Star Arts Complex.

Featured will be apparel and accessories, jewelry, unique gift items and fine food. For more information and tickets, please visit the SET webpage.

This is a perfect opportunity to find unique Christmas presents for the special people on your list.

Don't forget the Small Business Conference
Tomorrow, this Wednesday, December 5, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, from 7 AM to 5 PM, the City of San Antonio and Bexar County are holding the 7th Annual Small, Minority and Women Business Owners Conference. The event is free and open to the public. Breakfast is free; lunch is free; the workshops are free.

This event hosts tons of buyers from government agencies and corporations who are interested in purchasing goods and services from small, minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. Come and meet the buyers as well as fellow business owners. Registration is closed, but onsite registration starts at 7 AM Wednesday.

Upcoming Events
Small Business Conference Wed, 12/5, 7 AM More info...
SET in Blue Star Sat, 12/15, 6 PM More info...
Small Business Training December classes More info...
Pay attention!
Thanks for reading. Feedback is always appreciated!
How to Reach Me
Crystal Communications
Crystal Darby
Email Marketing by