J0439382 It makes no logical sense!  At 12:01am on the Friday following Thanksgiving, there was a 2.5 hour wait to get off at the exit to the nearby Outlet Mall.  That's right, 2.5 hours!  The mall was kicking-off the 2008 Holiday Shopping Season at the stroke of midnight.  Other stores would celebrate the start of the Holiday Shopping with their doors opening at 4:00am, 5:00am, or 6:00am.  It just seems crazy.  OK, so there are a few doorbuster deals, but is it really worth all the time and effort?  If it was just about shopping the answer would have to be no!  But it is not about shopping.  It was about tradition!  And traditions can be a powerful thread that weaves the experiences of our life together.

In my November 2008 issue of my e-newsletter, The Front Porch, I challenged everyone to a new tradition … "The Twelve Days of Gratitude."  The challenge is simple.  Send a note of gratitude to a different person each day, for twelve days straight, starting today … December 1st.  I promised to do the same.

The "Twelve Days of Gratitude" isn't about thinking of the 12 most important people in your life and thanking them (although, if you wanted to take that approach … that would be just fine!).  It is really about randomly thinking of someone, each day, that you just want to thank.  But when I pulled out my first card to write, I couldn't help but deciding to send my first note of gratitude to my mom. They say when you become a parent, you will really appreciate what your parents did for you.  I do appreciate it, but at her age of 90, I'm not sure I have told her often enough.  The "first day of gratitude" was a great excuse to do thank her again.  Everyone needs a mom who is your biggest cheerleader … and I am grateful for Etna Blumberg!

Who should you thank today?  I hope you will join in on the "Twelve Days of Gratitude Challenge" between now and December 12th.  Come December 13th, you will see the "Twelve Days of Christmas" in a whole new light!