The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself This Week


This week is a time that's all about being with the ones we love. For some that means a nice dinner and a fireside chat. For others it means drunken arguments about Donald Trump across the dining room table. Love and friendship play out in remarkable ways, don't they?

But no matter how your week plays out, I'm willing to bet you one thing: 10 years from now, you'd give almost anything to be back for even a moment at that nice dinner and fireside chat. Hell, you may give almost anything to be back in those not so pleasant moments if it means time with a loved one you've since lost. Studies show that the memories you have with those you love most -- no matter how dysfunctional -- are ultimately your most cherished assets.

I'm fortunate to work in the memory making business -- the business of live experiences. In addition to running a digital agency that works with many experience-based brands, I'm also an active participant in a range of non-profits -- like The Situation Project -- that provide experiences to those who need them most. One of the best parts about my job is that everyday I see the impact great experiences can have on people. And from what I've seen, I stand convinced that there is no greater vehicle for happiness in this world and genuine connection with those around us than the power and promise of the live experience.

That's why I was excited to hear about a noble, new initiative launching this week -- #ShowDay -- a movement where the day after Christmas, people are encouraged to go out and experience a local show or event with their loved ones. Whether it's a Broadway show, a sporting event, a concert or simply a trip together to the local holiday fair, I encourage you to give it a try this holiday season.

My friend, Jon Albert says it best, "Hurry up and live." And he says it with good reason. Thirteen years ago he was given the wake-up call of a lifetime when his wife, Jill, was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at the age of 40. He and his wife realized early in Jill's fight that the disease was not just attacking her body, but their family as well. They were determined to formulate something positive and tangible out of the unfair and cruel. They knew for their kids, Jamie and Jake, strong memories of special times together would be their greatest inheritance.

Jill's life and death inspired the creation of The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF), which is focused on giving families facing the imminent loss of a parent to cancer opportunities to create positive, cherished, and lasting memories. If you need any further proof on the power of their efforts in the lives of families, look no further than this inspiring video from the remarkable Goldston Family as they surprise their daughter, Rylie, with a JAJF family trip to NYC.

Rylie anchored her own surprise for her 9th birthday! Start spreading the news... We're leaving Dec 13th!

Posted by Laurel Limmel Goldston on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This holiday season, amidst all of the hustle and bustle, holiday stresses, and family political "discussions," I encourage you to pause and remember -- there are very few times throughout the year (even throughout our lifetimes) when we aggregate all of the love in our lives like we do during this holiday week. Remember the Goldston Family and live by their example by maximizing the moments we have with our loved ones by getting out and experiencing life together.

To echo the words of JAJF Founder, Jon Albert, "It doesn't matter what you experience, just that you experience." You'll thank yourself later (like, forever) for it.