What are you doing opening this! You have a milllllllllion things to do and only a week to do them in!! HURRY!!! Close this email, now!

You still here?

Oh, good, because as I write this in front of my Facebook-inspired tree (read on for details), I have not (yet) baked a thing or bought (and therefore, obviously, not wrapped) a Christmas gift.  Yet I am in the yuletide mood in a big way. I have decorated our home with miss-matched, memory-filled paraphernalia, my radio is temporarily locked on the 24-hour Christmas music station (and yes, that means I am not presently listening to CJOB, the station my own show is on), and I am belting out holiday tunes like no one’s business.

And even though this year will see me hosting both sides of our family on Christmas eve and Christmas day, I am lovin’ the season and am virtually worry-free. I have donated my cherished, brand-new Easy Bake Oven and some other toys to the Cheer Board, I have supported my local food bank financially and I am looking for opportunities to get our family volunteering over the holidays. Yes, I am in the mood and all is calm and all is bright.

Alas, it wasn’t always this way, as I used to be a frenzied-shopping-baking-wrapping-Christmas card-writing whirlwind of organized chaos.

If you want to know what changed and why, you can check out these two articles, one in the Business Insider and the other from the Free Press and my blog. Tips shared and (more) secrets revealed, I hope they serve you well.

Ever since the year that I forgot to defrost the turkey and we ended up ordering KFC instead, I have realized, it is indeed – all good, even with the bar lowered!  That, of course, is still the most talked-about holiday meal we’ve ever had.

Don’t you find that it is when things go the most awry that (usually after some time has lapsed, of course), those are the most special and memorable times for years and years to come. Keep that in mind this year as things do not turn out ‘perfect,’  as obstacles keep getting in your way or as your mood fluctuates like a pendulum, that these are all opportunities to step up, find the funny, be creative and look for alternatives.

Marc, from the Delta Hotel, showed me this recently.  I was presenting for a conference and I realized I forgot my beloved tiara, which I often use as a prop to illustrate the point of one of my stories. So distraught was I that I ran to the concierge to see if there was anywhere I could ‘run to buy a tiara in 10 minutes.’  Coming as no surprise, he could not find a place in close enough proximity for me to get back in time. Head hanging low and mad at myself for forgetting I was heading dejectedly back to the conference room when Marc called out to me. “I could make you one.”

Make me one?  He could make me a tiara? Really?

Marc disappears into the back and comes out with 4 straws and a roll of tin foil. He proceeds to measure my head with the straws, which become the base of the crown.  He aptly folds, twists, turns the tin foil and magically in front of my eyes creates a tiara that any four-year-old would die for. Then he kicks it up a notch by using markers to place “jewels” around it! Absolute magic.

My session at the conference is only made better by now adding Marc’s exquisite story to the mix and strutting around in my insta-crown. What a win.

A few things to note about this incident:

1) I should have thought, what else could I do, could I make a crown? After all, I teach this stuff, but I was stuck in my own pity party that I couldn’t see another way, I need a complete stranger to help me out.

2) Marc showed customer service to the extreme, he went above the call of duty that day and affected many people positively in the process. Everything matters, everyone has the opportunity to make a difference, I don’t care what letters are after your name or not. Everyone matters.

3) There is always one more right answer, one more way to handle things, one more person to ask, one more potential solution to try, one more way to reframe a situation. Always.

About the Facebook-inspired Christmas tree … Hubby come home with the worst tree since Charlie Brown’s Christmas. Lamenting about it on FB, I was challenged by a community member to make it the most unique, memorable tree ever. “Do something unexpected!” she wrote.

Armed with this new inspiration I thought about what would be totally unexpected on a Christmas tree, marched over the dollar store and bought every type of chocolate bar they had. And so, 2011 is the year of the Chocolate Bar Tree, the laughing tree of the neighborhood is now envied by trees everywhere! It’s awesome and fun, (note the crown under the angel!).

Again – I didn’t think of this, I was stuck in my ‘ugly tree zone,’ I needed to be coached out of it by a Facebook friend who did much the same thing as Marc did – thought bigger, better, bolder, brighter! All this proving once again that even the coach needs to be coached.

Now, it’s your turn to think bigger, bolder, brighter, better! Get out of the stress-zone this holiday season and make the end of 2011 rock!

Join me for a live tele-coaching call to start the New Year off right, commit to not settling now.

Merry Everything, everyone!


Stephanie  Staples

Stephanie Staples

Your Revitalization Specialist

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