Monday, December 1, 2014

The Christmas Challenge

Once, while living in a small beach town near San Remo, a friend and I decided to spread Christmas cheer all throughout the city. We created a calendar for the month of December and wrote down a daily suggestion to get into the Christmas spirit, ranging from writing a letter to an old friend to reading a Christmas story to a child. We drew a fine Christmas picture on the top of the calendar, made photocopies, and hit the city, delivering copies to every store owner or passerby that would take them.

The smiles that we found along the way were priceless. Many shopkeepers posted them in their street-facing windows or on their counters, visible to walkers and customers alike. People hung them on refrigerators or doors. Everyone who did, whether they followed the ideas on the calendar or not, found a larger portion of the Christmas spirit that year.

We followed the calendar as best as we could and we experienced one of the most memorable Christmases of all. 

Unfortunately, I lost track of my only copy of the calendar from San Remo, but I've tried to replicate it the best that I could to create the Back to Being Gentlemen Christmas Calendar!

Some of the suggestions might seem strange, but the key is to do your very best at performing them in good faith, looking for how it can improve your holiday mood. For example, going to a shopping center may seem overly commercial, but what other location decorates so beautifully for the holidays? It's worth noting that in Dickens' classic tale, the Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scrooge not just the reverent or familial scenes of Christmas, but also magnificent street scenes of merchants showing off their wares and the glorious decorations around the city. I've found that simply having a preoccupation with finding Christmas everywhere makes it sprout in the most unexpected places.

Also, this may be obvious, but it is alright to move around the days as need be.

Good luck, and may your holiday season be truly memorable.