21 reasons to be of good cheer

“The journey to the light starts with a candle. Once it’s lit, darkness has gone forever.” ― Adriano Bulla good cheer

Merry, Merry, my friends!

As you know if you’ve spent any time at the party known as my blog, I’m here on Planet Earth to change the dominant paradigm. My mission is to spread the news to anyone who will listen that life is constantly conspiring to send blessings.

Which is why I loved interviewing the Kansas City Secret Santa who passes out $100 bills. People magazine sent me out to interview him. Twice. It was a hoot and a half to join him, to see the expression on people’s faces when he’d peal a couple hundys off his stack and hand them over.

So in the interest of continuing my long-standing journalism career, here are 20 additional reasons to be of good cheer this illustrious holiday season:

1. A 9-year-old boy from Ohio decided that instead of the $300 X Box, he wanted to buy 30 blankets for 30 homeless people. **

2. Two former Wall Street tycoons started a free ride share service for families of cancer patients. Think Uber, but without those annoying credit card bills.

3. A woman in Pennsylvania built a life-size Snoopy dog house (complete with our favorite beagle wearing a Christmas hat) at her desk.

4. A Milwaukee man transformed an abandoned mall into a Winter wonderland for 100 kids from the Boys and Girls Club. He created a gingerbread house, an ice-skating rink and a sledding hill.

5. A police chief in Massachusetts who impersonates Santa learned sign language so a hear-impaired girl could finally talk to the jolly ole soul.

6. A flight attendant and two passengers entertained passengers after their flight from Denver to Virginia was delayed for an hour because of snow. You can listen to their mandolin/ukelele performance here.

7. The Pope who just turned 81 threw a huge pizza party for sick kids. As he told his fellow revelers, “A joyous spirit is like good land that grows good fruit.”

8. A reporter showed up for his interview with an autistic student who had been suspended for wearing a banana costumer wearing a grape costume.

9. An opthamologist from Grand Rapids, Michigan not only gave up his Saturday to treat an elderly patient who needed an eye injection, but because the snow plows didn’t run that day, he carried her from her car into the office.

10. A major league baseball player donated his $9 million mansion and 100 acres of land to a charity that provides camps for children with special needs and chronic illness.

11. When a middle school in south Dallas put out a call for volunteers to help with a “Breakfast with Dads” event, 600 men showed up.

12. After a Texas first grader sent a letter to Santa asking for food, blankets and a ball for her brothers, 900 people (at last count) from around the world responded by sending blankets.

13. In Fort Collins, Colorado, an anonymous donor bought every single toy at Goodwill so that each child shopping with parents got one free gift.

14. An 8-year-old New Jersey boy collected more than 1000 Christmas toys for children of Puerto Rico. NBA manager Brandon Eddy alone sent 11 boxes.

15. A convent in eastern France took in 56 African refugees.

16. An anonymous donor dubbed Santa B paid off $40,000 of layaway holiday bills in Everett, Washington.

17. A diner in Scottsdale, Arizona left a $2000 tip on a $17 bill.

18. Policemen in Shawnee, Kansas, instead of giving out traffic tickets are giving out, $10,000 in cash.

19. A senior in Lancaster, Texas gave away two pair of Vans tennis shoes to special needs students after they complimented him on his stylin’ footwear. The thing I like most about this story is that the video he posted on Twitter has been viewed more than 3 million times. Who says people don’t want good news?
20. The Innovation Show, a podcast in Dublin is giving away a free interview with yours truly on Christmas Day. Aidan McCullin, who recently read E-Squared and received blessing after blessing (a crisp 50-pound note on the ground next to his car, for starters) said it was his gift to spread good cheer to the world.

**Microsoft heard of his good deed and gifted him with the Xbox anyway. Proves my thesis that the more you give, the more you receive.

Have an extraordinarily epic holiday, my friends!

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

22 reasons to be of good cheer

“What worn-out shticks are blinding you to the blessings that life is conspiring to give you?”–Rob Brezsny

Twice now, People magazine has sent me out to interview a Kansas City Secret Santa who passes out $100 bills. It was a hoot and a half to join him, to see the expression on people’s faces when he’d peal a couple hundys off his stack and hand them over.

So in the interest of continuing my long-standing journalism career, here are 21 additional reasons to be of good cheer this holiday season:

1. A mystery woman walked into a Toys R Us in Bellingham, Massachussetts and paid off the entire store’s layaway balance, allowing strapped parents to pick up Christmas gifts for their kids.

2. Gas prices have dropped below $2 just in time for holiday visits to family.

3. The gorgeous beaches of Cuba are about to reopen to vacationing Americans.

4. Oakland Raider’s tackle Menelik Watson just donated a week of his salary ($37,000) to Ava Urrea, a four-year-old girl who has had 14 heart surgeries.

5. Natalie DuBose, whose Ferguson, Missouri bakery was vandalized during the protests, received more than $250,000 in donations from total strangers.

6. The curve is bending on new cases of HIV. More people are being treated than becoming infected.

7. Enough said. This note was left on a car in Edmonton, Canada.

8. Gay marriage is now legal in 35 of 50 U.S. states.

9. An Ohio high school student took his 89-year-old great grandmother to prom because she’d never been.

10. A cop in Montreal has been stopping drivers and, instead of passing out tickets, is passing out $100 bills.

11. Global life expectancy has risen by six years since 1990.

12. Nearly 200 countries signed a bill to reduce the use of foreign fossil fuels.

13. A Dallas woman has donated more than 15,0000 house cleanings for people going through chemo.

14. A 12-year-old from San Jose, California, built a Braille printer (it’s called a BRAIGO) out of LEGO Mindstorms (it’s the souped up version) that lowers the going $2000 price to an affordable $350. He even offers open source plans online for free.

15. A police captain in Omaha, Nebraska organized a Valentine’s card campaign for her sergeant who remarked that he’d never received a Valentine’s card as a kid. He got hundreds from people all over the country.

16. A former professional ballet dancer developed a dancing wheelchair so all of us can dance.

17. My buddy Nick Ortner has been donating free tapping instruction in Rwanda. There’s even a movie about this inspiring project that you can watch for free (if you do it in the next two days)

18. Michelle Obama has volunteered the last four years to take calls for NORAD’s Santa hotline.

19. A New York City software engineer gave coding lessons to a homeless man. He offered him either $100 or two months of coding lessons. After just three and a half months, his homeless protégé developed Trees for Cars, a smartphone app that helps commuters organize carpools.

20. Scientists dated a bristlecone pine tree in California’s White Mountains as the world’s longest-living organism. It’s more than 5000 years old, older than the pyramids

21. And the E-Cubed Selfie Challenge is coming up next week with lots of great prizes including a pair of tickets to all four North American I Can Do It’s and a cruise to Alaska with yours truly.

Have a fabulous holiday season, my friends!!

Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.

“So let’s get going so we can have a whopping party.”—Diana Nyad

“Is there an edge? Does it go into infinity in time and space? There’s nothing like swimming in the ocean for 50 hours that gets you to thinking about things like this.”—Diana Nyad

Even though I’m a journalist and it would probably be wise to keep this to myself, I don’t put a lot of stock in the news.

To my way of thinking, the news is short-sighted, mostly negative and doesn’t begin to show an accurate picture of the way the world really is. In fact, most of what I see on the all-important news seems pretty irrelevant to my life.

However, there was a news item this week that is as close to what I consider Truth as it comes.

I know you’ve heard about it. Diana Nyad, at age 64, after four other failed attempts, swam 110 miles in 52 hours and 54 minutes, the first swimmer to go the distance from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

So in honor of this amazing woman who went for her big dream, I decided to post her very inspiring Ted Talk.

This is for anyone out there who thinks they’re too old or it’s too late or they’ve already tried way too many times.

This, my friends, is the news!!

Pam Grout is the author of 16 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.