by Tiffany Schultz
Everything I Ever Needed to Know....I Learned from Buddy The Elf
Recently my husband and I went away with a few couples. Now I know these couples pretty well--we’ve all been friends for a number of years--but admittedly, I don’t know everything about them. So as we were sitting down to dinner one night, I asked everyone what their favorite movie was.
“Pirates of the Caribbean!” “Grease!” “When Harry Met Sally!” After we discussed the merits of our favorites and had some good laughs, we moved on to appetizers and other topics of conversation. However, a few moments later somebody yelled “Elf!!!” Needless to say, the entire table erupted! That little movie even sparked conversation that went beyond our dinner, as evidenced by the fact that one of my friends greeted me the next morning at breakfast, after a late night and wearing what could only be described as a “scowl” on my face, by saying, “I just like to smile…smiling’s my favorite!”
So as I was sitting down to write this month’s column, I couldn’t help but think of Buddy the Elf and the joy he has brought me many times over. And magically I started to feel the holiday spirit…and well, general merriment…seeping into my soul. Sound corny? I bet Buddy wouldn’t think so.
It was then, and only then, that I realized…everything I’ve ever needed to know, I learned from Buddy the Elf.
• Be yourself - even when you’re not quite sure where you fit in. Buddy was human but was raised by elves – ummmm, AWK-WARD! So when you are at that Christmas party, where you know no one but your spouse, or you’re the newest employee at the company luncheon, think about how Buddy must have felt…and then smile. (Why? Have you been paying attention? Smiling was Buddy’s favorite. Go ahead – try it. I know the whole walking on the moon thing was big and all, but when one person smiles it truly is one small step for man, but a giant leap for mankind!)
• If you can’t find joy in your own life, find a revolving door and go crazy for a few minutes. The lesson is: be whimsical sometimes, have fun, stop for a moment to enjoy the dizzy.
• Live with a sense of wonder. I really think that is the biggest problem with becoming an adult – we all become so gosh darn cynical! Go ahead, try to give a raccoon a hug, push all the elevator buttons…get as excited about your in-laws coming to town as your kids do about Santa (ok, admittedly I may have crossed a line here).
• Try something new. A new lipstick color, or go ice skating with your kids. Better yet, go home tonight and put all of that left-over-from-Halloween candy corn on your spaghetti. I definitely see smile-making potential here!
• Do things with gusto! It doesn’t matter if that’s a snowball fight, decorating for Christmas, or belching – put your heart and soul into it and just do it!
• And finally, don’t give up. Don’t give up on whatever it is that is hard for you right now. Buddy never gave up and he was handsomely rewarded, and you will be, too. And if you aren’t, there are worse things – you could smell like beef and cheese.
about the writer Tiffany Schultz resides in Sugar Grove with her husband, two kids and Shih Tzu. While seeking balance between her dueling roles as wife, mother, daughter, friend and professional, Tiffany spends as much time as possible daydreaming on her screen porch. She also enjoys cooking, traveling and yoga and hopes to one day learn Italian and make the perfect crème brulee.