Posts Tagged ‘Salvation Army’

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.


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…


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.


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!


You know you want a puppy…

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!



Send supplies, St. Bernard's, and Hugh Jackman.

This is an emergency alert!  For the past two days, I’ve been stuck in a 6-foot snow bank created from a massive, killer snow storm which has been attacking the area!  (No, reallycheck out MSNBC’s coverage of the event) With crude materials I’ve collected from my car, I’ve managed to make a rudimentary radio transmitter with an add-on EZ Bake Oven, Slinky, inflatable life boat, and a 50” Plasma TV, in hopes that my message may reach someone before I submit to frostbite and hypothermia.

I, of course, could not get my transmission up and running until today.  I’ve had to power my communication station with fuel power from burned Twinkies, empty bottles of Diet Coke, stale French fries from McDonald’s, and an errant midget who just happened to stumble into my snow bank.


Burn, Lollipop Guild, burn...

So, you see, dear readers, because of my misfortunate face-off with a blizzard, I was unable to create a new post for two days.  Truly…the only reason for no new updates was because I was stuck frozen in a ditch, unable to move or make contact with the outside world, a la Hans Solo frozen in Carbonite.


I bet HE wasn't freezing his bum off, though.

You believe me…right?!?

Ya gotta believe me, I swear…

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

The Christmas season is now upon us, ladies and gentlemen.  The in-laws have departed for another month, our living rooms are littered with fresh pine needles, the holiday weight gain has initiated, and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” will now be played 24/7 on your local radio station.  It’s undeniable:  Christmas is finally here.

My shotgun start to the holiday season began on Thanksgiving.  My family celebration was a great reminder of just how insane my relatives are…and, consequentially, just how much I love them.  I attempt to keep a normal amount of anonymity on my blog, so I won’t post each and every embarrassing picture I took last Thursday…however, I think these three pictures sum up the entire night (and how close my family may truly be to straight jackets and happy blue pills).







Charlie Sheen’s Thanksgiving

(minus the stripper)

The insanity continues…

Pick a Little, Talk a Little

Since my RACs have been a little dominated by food-relating activities, I decided to devote my weekend tasks to a conversational theme:  make personal contact in a way that would be out of character for myself. (And, when I say “out of character,” I don’t mean by tackling someone to the ground, touching someone awkwardly, or laying a big fat kiss on the cashier at Wegman’s).


How my family greets one another...

Nay, I simply wished to push myself beyond the safe, reserved persona I often emit when meeting/interacting with strangers.  I wanted to be that person who literally will talk to anyone about anything.  Baby steps here, people…baby steps.

All of my RACs over the weekend were small gestures….no Nobel Peace Prize winning entries here….however, they were actions that truly made me realize just how much more I could be doing in an effort to be a kinder, more considerate person.

#1:  Upon checkout at your friendly neighborhood Sal Val (Salvation Army), I happened upon an amiable cashier, more than willing to share her views on company management and her relationships with other co-workers.  It was 5:00 PM, rush hour traffic had already commenced, my hair was flat, and the store smelled strongly of damp corduroy jeans…I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, but first, I had to…gulp…interact with a chatty employee.  In moments like these, I usually pretend to find something extremely fascinating with the floor or role play as a mute, but I knew…I knew…I had to step outside of the box.  So, for about 3 minutes, I entertained friendly, pain-free conversation with this cheery woman…who ended up actually brightening my evening.  It’s funny:  after surviving a rough week, it’s amazing how much a simple kindness can do for you.

#2:  I am a naturally shy, reserved person…a character trait which I’ve struggled hard to break out of.  When I meet or work with new people, I rarely ever make the purposeful effort to utter the words “It was a pleasure to meet/work with you.” It’s not for lacking of wanting to say that….the reclusive, inhibited, awkward 13-year-old in me still screams “THEY’RE GONNA MAKE FUN OF YOU AND CALL YOU A DWEEB!”

School Photograph

I really WAS a dweeb...

Read more about my baggage…