Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Crossing the Finish Line: RAC Challenge Wrap-Up

October 31st: Reflecting on holiday seasons in the past, I wonder why Thanksgiving and Christmas have lost the magic they used to hold many years ago.

November 1st:  Seeking to re-establish that “spark,” I come up with a wacky idea to encourage a more festive holiday attitude within myself and others, as well.  I run it past two people, they give me a vote of confidence, and an idea is born.

November 2nd:  I decide to make the leap and chronicle my experiences on a blog somewhere in Cyberspace.  I research popular blogging sites, ultimately pick Word Press, and create Miracle on 32nd Street.  The idea for RACs (Random Acts of Christmas) is born out of my very first post.

November 2nd, 6:46 PM:  My very first comment arrives in my email inbox.  Heidi becomes my very first poster.

January 1st, 2011:  The first ever RAC Challenge officially wraps up its first season, and goes on hiatus until November 2011.


What a difference a day makes.  One minute, I’m on my way to rehearsal, daydreaming about Christmas and how the holiday spirit has been elusive in years past.  The next day, I’ve gained the title of “blogger”, along with a screen name, website, and one comment.

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What a difference a month makes.  Compare November to December:  in the latter month, I had around 1150 views.  In the former month, I had 2500.  I gained more posters, but more importantly, I gained faithful posters:  people who, like clockwork, continually comment on my writing…people who I now consider as “friends,” although we’ve never actually met face to face.

You can read all about how blogging has changed my life in this article, but this post is dedicated to the RAC Challenge….the idea that started it all.  Now, two months and two days after I initially began my blog, I pause for a moment to reflect on my journey with the RACs and how they have had an amazing impact on who I am and my life in general.

How the RACs changed me…

Coming ‘Round the Bend

Well, here we are…December 24th. My favorite day of the year, aside from the first day of autumn. A day where excitement is high and “Scrooges” are few.  A day where children reach their height of anxiety and where parents reach their height of insanity.  A day where we allow ourselves to feel a tingling of anticipation for what’s to come…Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Eve also ushers in another milestone for me this year as well.  Tomorrow, Miracle on 32nd Street will have been in operation for 1 month and 22 days…not a tremendous milestone in terms of length or significance…but an important reflecting point because of the original aim of this site.

Back on November 2nd, I laid out my goals and aspirations for this blog:  to perform one random act of kindness, every day, up until New Year’s Eve. These “random acts of kindness” quickly became labeled as RACs, or Random Acts of Christmas.  Through my purposeful actions, I wanted to inspire “Christmas spirit” within myself, and, most importantly, within those whom I interacted with.  I had spent far too many Christmas which fizzled out by the time the Big Day rolled by, and I wanted to find a way…any way…to revive that long lost Christmas cheer I had harnessed so long ago.

An experiment.  A challenge to fulfill.  A place of laughter.  A hobby.  An outlet for “do-gooding” and creative writing.  These are all labels which have fit my blog along its short journey thus far.  And, as New Year’s Day gets closer and closer, I wonder what other labels my blog will take on once the original project has crossed the finish line.

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Originally, I never intended this blog to document anything but my RACs. As I got lost in the world of Blogging, however, I became a member of a much larger, funnier, more poignant picture.  I began to frequent other blogs which made me laugh, cry, think, and re-think.  I developed a core of “friends” on Word Press who have stuck by me through good posts and bad.  I have learned some of the necessary tools to be a good blogging friend (i.e. re-blogging, re-Tweeting, commenting, trackbacks, etc), and have become entrenched in a reciprocal world of writers, photographers, humorists, and thousands of others who claim a small home in the Blog-O-Sphere.

In other words, I got hooked.  I no longer had a blog with a time-sensitive goal…I became a blogger, through and through.  I have subscriptions, and I subscribe to sites.  I have followers, and I follow others.  I “Like” great posts, and re-blog about the ones I admire.  I manage my site comments, while simultaneously tracking my own.  I check the Freshly Pressed every day to find new writers and offer my two cents on their offerings.  I tweet.  I Facebook.  I StumbleUpon.  I go through all of the motions a hard-core blogger partakes in…finally, I’m a real blogger!

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Keep on reading, y’all…

Puppies for Christmas!

After a frantic, late-night packing session, a grueling, tedious, 45 minute drive home, and an equally frantic un-packing session, I am now, officially, home for the holidays.

I now have ample time to watch HGTV, eat copious amounts of dried fruit and cashews, tag all of my photos on my computer, AND catch up on my blogging.

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I realize, in my preparation to make my “days be merry and bright,” that I’ve fallen behind with my RAC-centered posts.  I know I’ve got a ton to catch up on….plus, I know that I owe an apology to you all for not keeping up with them.  In an attempt to distract your attention away from the fact I haven’t posted about an RAC in 6 days, I will pair each of my RACs with a dastardly, adorable puppy.  You all get puppies for Christmas!  PUPPIES FOR EVERYONE!

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You know you want a puppy…

Making Christmas

In the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Tim Burton elegantly weaves a story about the inhabitants of Halloween Town, a fictional land where Halloween reigns supreme, all day, every day.  The town is led by Jack Skellington, a.k.a. “The Pumpkin King,” who accidentally stumbles upon a secret portal to Christmas Town, a land filled with snow, sweets, and Santa Claus himself.

Jack is enthralled with this odd land of merriment and joy, two emotions which are counter to the ennui and melancholy his character begins the film with.  He quickly decides to remedy his growing unease by incorporating elements of Christmas Town into his world, and encourages his friends and fiends to follow suit.

In the song “Making Christmas,” the residents of Halloween Town show how they plan to present their version of Christmas, despite the fact that their vision of the holiday is slightly skewed.  Watch below:

“Making Christmas” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Over the weekend, I was reminded of this song as I began to contemplate my own lot during the holiday season.  I found myself feeling somewhat like Jack, the main protagonist of the story, who begins the movie dealing with a gaping emotional void and no foreseeable remedy.

Now, I am neither a skeleton nor depressed, but I have come to discover a growing emptiness in my heart around the holiday season.  I don’t love Christmas any less, mind you.  On the contrary, it still remains as my most treasured holiday and favorite time of the year…but, due to the inevitable changes of time/destiny/fate, Christmas is just not what it used to be anymore.

Keep reading, or Mr. Oogie Boogie will get you…

“I just called…to say…I love you…”

In a world of email, texts, Tweets, IMs, status updates, and posts, who really needs to use the telephone anymore?  With all the different electronic Pony Expresses we have at our fingertips, the telephone is on its way out, slowly fading off into the sunset…

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And don't call me Junior!

Some people are natural born phone conversationalists.  I am not one of these people.  When I was growing up, I was very content with a 2-minute phone call to determine my weekend plans and outings.  I didn’t tie up the phone line for hours on end to discuss why Bobby So-And-So shouldn’t date Unnaturally Blonde Barbara…or which member of N*SYNC was the hottest…or who I was takin’ to the box social an’ what I was bringin’ in my hamper an’ why Mistuh Jud Fry was a mean ol’ cantankerous sort of man.  Besides, most of my closest friends back then were guys…creatures who are predisposed to loathe any conversation over 3 minutes long (note: I have many male friends nowadays that can handle extended conversation, as long as I wear something shiny to satisfy their A.D.D.).

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Planning to wear this to my wedding to keep the groom's attention...

I’ve never been a phone person, so the Internet was a great saving grace for me.  I can see what I’m going to say before I hit that little “SEND” button, and prevent myself from saying “Hi Tit on the head” when what I meant to say was “Hit it on the head.”  I don’t have that error modification on the telephone.

Keep on reading…