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08
The 12 Million Days of Christmas
December 8, 2015

Our friend Jonathan Wray wrote a blog based on his experience at the Christmas Café’ one year.  It was for his office, but with his permission we’ve modified it a bit to inspire everyone this Chirstmas…

Rethinking the 12 Days of Christmas

I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

I find that this song rambles on way too long, and none of the 12 gifts are something I would particularly hope to find under my Christmas tree.

Can you imagine the mess left behind by the geese-a-laying, the swans a-swimming, the French hens, the turtle doves and the partridge?

And the noise generated by the pipers piping, the ladies dancing, the lords aleaping and the drummers drumming would be simply unbearable.

But I digress. I now, grudgingly, have a new appreciation for the song after attending a Christmas café last Sunday night.

Groups assembled at 12 different tables were assigned the task of standing up and singing their lines about their “gifts."

The folks at table 5 who belted out “five golden rings” with great exuberance and charismatic hand waving took the prize as the most enthusiastic participants.

This experience got me thinking about how enthusiasm is an important aspect of powerful communications. So how can we spice up our communications with some enthusiasm?
In oral communication, we can:

•       Smile
•       Use appropriate gestures
•       Maintain eye contact
•       Look interested
•       Use vocal variety
•       Tell stories
•       Avoid reading from your notes or PowerPoint charts

In an oral presentation, it usually becomes evident within seconds whether or not the presenter is enthusiastic.

But how can writers instill a spark of enthusiasm into their writing?

Here are a few ways (and peppering your writing with tons of exclamation marks is not one of them):

•       Start with an interesting lead sentence that draws the reader in and entices them to continue reading
•       Be concise
•       Use strong verbs
•       Prefer the active voice
•       Use plain but vivid language
•       Use concrete examples
•       Include anecdotes and stories
•       Use similes and metaphors
•       Write strong headlines

I hope you have an awesome holiday season filled with lots of cheer and enthusiasm!

We can also use this example to share Christ this Christmas.

•      Be cheerful when people wish you a Holiday Greeting

•      Respond with Merry Christmas back and a smile

•       Be open to sharing the Joy you feel in Christ and the Story of Christmas

Merry Christmas from all of us at Westney....

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