Friday, November 25, 2011

Sharing the Joy Kick-Off--Guest Post and Charity Event with Melissa Ann Goodwin

Please welcome author Melissa Ann Goodwin as our official guest for the kick-off of the 2011 Sharing the Joy event on The Christmas Spirit.  Be sure to read on after the post for info on the charity event.

Keeping the Spirit
Melissa Ann Goodwin

Here we go! It’s officially the holiday season, and there’s no better place to kick it off than here on Michelle’s Christmas Spirit blog. I mean, who has more Spirit than Michelle?? What a warm-hearted, generous person she is. I can definitely add “I’m grateful for having met Michelle this year,” to my list of thankful things.

I’ve been thinking so much about gratitude lately – because of Thanksgiving, of course – but also just because I have so much for which to be grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of sadness in recent times. Both my parents passed away during the last two years – my mom just this past March. But good things have happened too. I published my book and the response has been wonderful. I’ve reconnected with old friends whom I hadn’t seen or talked to in years (we’re talking 30-plus years here, folks!) I’m healthy, safe and loved. Many blessings indeed.

I’ve been thinking about those blessings as the Christmas season begins. To me, this thing we call The Christmas Spirit reflects our desire to be more selfless, patient, kind and giving – to be, in essence, our very best selves. Most of us try to rise to the occasion, we really do. But sometimes the stresses of the season make it difficult to maintain that Spirit. Because I feel so especially blessed, I want to try extra hard to keep my own Christmas Spirit alive this year. Here are a few things I came up with to help me do that:

Sincerely revel in someone else’s joy: The bounty of the universe is limitless. I think that when we can be sincerely happy for someone else’s joy, we open ourselves up to receiving more good into our own lives.

Remember that small gestures can have a huge impact: During a casual conversation with a woman today, I mentioned that my mom used to knit and that I’d always wanted to, but never got the hang of it. The lady offered to teach me. Her offer seemed like a small thing to her, but it touched me in a big way.

Appreciate the little things: When I begin my gratitude list with small things like soft pillows, warm socks or a really good cup of coffee, the abundance of my life becomes so clear. There are so many small things that make life easier, more comfortable and pleasant, and they really add up. 

Do something nice for someone else every day: I can be for someone else what the lady who offered to teach me to knit was for me. 

These are just a few ideas I have for keeping the Christmas Spirit alive. I hope to add to my list over the next month. I’d love to hear your ideas for helping the Spirit thrive in your heart this season.

Thank you so much, Melissa...for your kind words about me and for these lovely tips for keeping the Christmas spirit.  Words to live by at Christmas and all year long, to be sure!

Melissa is the author of the middle grade novel, The Christmas Village.  Read my review of this heartwarming novel that is a book the whole family can share.

***Turn off music player located at the bottom of the blog
 before watching the video***

From today through Monday morning, November 28, Melissa will donate $1.75 for every paperback copy and 50 cents for every Kindle copy of her book sold during the weekend to the charity we chose in the poll (top right sidebar) and that was the Make a Wish Foundation! A big thanks to Melissa for doing this! Giving back at Christmas rocks!

You can click the banner above to check the book out on Amazon...or go HERE.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a happy and joyous holiday season, keeping the spirit all season long and beyond!


Note: The Christmas Spirit is an award free blog. I appreciate the gesture, but please know that your comments and friendship are enough.