Monthly Archives: November 2016

Week #115 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings (30 Days of Gratitude Starts Now!)

Count Your Blessings (

Count Your Blessings (

30 Days of Gratitude 2016 (Printable PDF)

Week #115 – Six Weeks to Happyness: Count Your Blessings!  (30 Days of Gratitude Starts Now!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Holidays!

After what seems like months of division and disagreement in social media — it was such a joy yesterday to see people counting their blessings and expressing thanks for all the things going right in their lives!

Many people have even lamented that they missed the usual barrage of “Thankfulness” posts that flood newsfeeds in November.

I’ve been guilty of getting caught up in negativity, too — believe me.  Everyone who knows me knows that my heart is still very much at home at the Jersey Shore.  I’ve been very easily focused on the things I miss, the things I left behind, the things that will never be quite the same again.

And as the holidays approached, it seemed to be getting worse.

And then, I had an idea.  I wanted to end the year strong.  On the things that were going well.  On the things I was thankful for (because, if I’m honest with myself, there are many!).

In short, I wanted to give myself the gift of gratitude.

So I thought, why not make a game of it?  Today is November 25th — exactly 30 days to the first night of Hanukkah AND Christmas Eve!

And then I thought, why not Spread Happyness — and share it with everyone?!

So here it is!  A very simple, one-page calendar that you (or your kids) can hang on your wall or refrigerator and fill in each day — and a challenge to Count Your Blessings for 30 days straight!  Think you can do it?!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!  Give yourself the gift of gratitude this holiday season!  Download the 30 Days of Gratitude 2016 (Printable PDF) and start counting your blessings today!  Come Christmas Eve or the first night of Hanukkah — you’ll have 30 reminders of everything that is going right in your life!  (And I will too!)

Spread Happyness — Share Freely!  And start counting your blessings today!

11/25/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #114 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD KINDNESS! (Donate pajamas!)


Week #114 – Seven Weeks to Happyness: SPREAD KINDNESS!  (Donate pajamas!)

Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Dissension and divide still dominate our news…and it’s leaving many of us wondering what we can possibly do to make a difference in the world, especially as the holiday approach.

One answer…is to Spread Kindness, one random act at a time.

Because while we may not be able to single-handedly solve the world’s problems — there is a world of problems that we CAN solve, right here and right now in our own backyards!

Kindness for Christopher

Some of you may be familiar with the D’Amico family of Mount Arlington, NJ — and their Kindness for Christopher Movement.  (I featured them last year on Week #64 of the blog.)  The D’Amico family created Kindness for Christopher after their 10-year-old son died in a boating accident in June 2015.  Kindness for Christopher encourages everyone to practice a random act of kindness on the 24th of every month (Christopher’s angel date).  It has since traveled across the country and around the world — collecting over 13,000 likes on its Facebook page, featured on Fox News and other major media outlets, and showing up in mysterious discoveries of “Kindness Rocks” in random locations!

Last year, Laura D’Amico (Christopher’s mom) was kind enough to share with me the details of how this all got started…and what kept her going only five months later.

This year, Kindness is still going strong — and Laura was generous again to update me on their latest effort:

The 2nd Annual Kindness for Christopher Pajama Drive!

Last year, the D’Amicos set out to collect 1,000 pairs of pajama pants to be delivered just before Christmas.  Laura told me at that time, “Our son wore pajama pants more than anyone. He loved them. They made him comfortable and happy. For children in the hospital, why not make them a little more comfy and happy while they are in a not so fun place dealing with being sick.”

The result?  According to a recent post on their Facebook page, they collected “over 5,000 pairs of new pajamas of all sizes” — which were delivered to hospitals, orphanages, churches, and shelters throughout the New Jersey area.

This year they didn’t set a goal.  “I just know that so many people love the idea and its getting promoted all over social media and a lot of teachers are running pajama drives this year.  I am very excited to see the final tally.”

And donate they will!  “People love (it),” Laura said.  “They want to give to children/people who are having a hard time in their lives.  They want them to be comforted when they are in the hospital/nursing home/orphanage/shelter.”

And the D’Amicos are no stranger to hard times.  After all, it has been only 18 months since Christopher’s accident.  I asked Laura, again, what keeps her going.  “What inspires me these days are my children.  I just had another baby (now 4 months old).  My daughter, 13, sees that even with tragedy in life, it does go on.  We have to get up every day and put one foot in front the other and carry on.  Some days are so hard and some days are easy.  It does feel good to be kind and do nice things for others.  A smile is very healing.”

“Kindness is important to me because I have learned over the past 18 months since my son died, that I really don’t have a lot of control on what goes on in my life…not in a bad way, just in general.  I learned that I can be kind and show kindness and believe it or not, it’s contagious.  People have so many things to worry about in their lives between work, health, families, money etc.  Being kind doesn’t cost anything but it makes you feel good.  We have control of being kind.”

So what about you Happyness Tribe?  Are you ready to help Spread some Kindness?!

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: SPREAD KINDNESS! (Donate pajamas!) The 2nd Annual Kindness for Christopher Pajama Drive is underway!  Donate NEW (not used) pajamas for all sizes/ages to Kindness for Christopher, PO Box 34, Mount Arlington, NJ, 07856 — or if you’d like to arrange to be a local drop-off/pick-up location, you can email them directly at

“Happiness to me this year is to be able to make others smile.” (Laura D’Amico)

Spread Happyness — Spread Kindness!  Donate pajamas and “wrap someone in a hug” this week!

11/18/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

(PS: Special thanks to Laura D’Amico for taking the time to update me on her story this week!  To learn more about Kindness for Christopher, the Pajama Drive, or to share your Kindness for Christopher stories: visit them on Facebook at for ChristopherD)

Week #113 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: Thank a Veteran!

Thank a Veteran (photo credit: Robert Church, Jr.)

Thank a Veteran (photo credit: Robert Church, Jr.)

Week #113 – Eight Weeks to Happyness: Thank a Veteran!

This has been a contentious week.  Many people are hurting — and not just the ones whose candidate didn’t win.  Things have been said.  Friends have been lost.  Families have been divided.

Now that the battle is over, many people (on both sides) are suddenly calling for healing after months of stoking divisive fires — but it’s not that easy.  Candidates, pundits, pollsters, politicians, and celebrities — they all return to their high-profile comfortable lives.

But you and me?  We are left in the trenches to clean up the real mess.

Where do we begin?

Ten Weeks to Happyness is underway — and the calendar gives us an opportunity to come together, even if just for a moment. 

Today — Friday, November 11th — is Veterans Day.  It was originally known as “Armistice Day”, marking the first anniversary of the end of WWI — which came to an end on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  Since 1954 it has been known as Veterans Day — a day set aside to honor all those who served in the United States Armed Forces, who swore on their very lives to support and defend this great country and her constitution.

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Thank a Veteran!  That private vote you cast (or chose to abstain from) this week…was protected by a veteran.  That free speech you are enjoying in the workplace, in your place of worship, or online…was protected by a veteran.  That right to protest…or to protest the protesters…is protected by a veteran.  The freedom to oppose, support, engage in, or criticize our democracy…all protected by a veteran.

So regardless of what side of the aisle you are on…put down your weapons, even if it’s just for a moment, and THANK A VETERAN!

Spread Happyness — and thank a veteran today!

11/11/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

Week #112 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: Vote “YES” to Happyness!


Week #112 – Nine Weeks to Happyness: Vote “YES” to Happyness!

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news — but did you know this is an election year?  😉

Ten Weeks to Happyness is underway — and this Tuesday people all across this great nation will finally get to cast a vote on something we’ve been discussing for roughly 18 months.

18 months.

Can you think of any other decision you’ve given that much time to?  Or how many “votes” you’ve cast within that time — for or against all kinds of decisions in your own life?

A quick internet search returns multiple sources quoting that people make up to 35,000 decisions every day…from when exactly to get out of bed to when to call it quits for the day.  Some sources say that we make over 200 decisions about food alone!

Each decision is a silent vote:
– YES – I will get out of bed.
– NO – I will not hit the snooze bar again.
– YES – I will floss.
– NO – I will not pick at that blemish.
– YES – I will weigh myself.
– NO – I will not check Facebook before I shower.

The list goes on…and it’s easy to see how we can amass THOUSANDS of little decisions in a short time.

Some of these decisions are quite easy — because we’ve already made bigger, pre-set decisions about them so they fall neatly in line:
– YES – I will go to work and be on time
(therefore, I will get up and out of bed and hit the shower immediately).
– YES – I will take care of my physical health (therefore, I will floss every day, leave my face alone, and weigh myself daily).

When you “vote” early and often for the things you truly want in life — temptations, like really wanting to stay in bed, become small and insignificant compared to the big goals of providing for your family, succeeding in your career, or living a happy and productive life.

Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: Vote “YES” to Happyness!  While some decisions only come around once every four years — there are hundreds (if not thousands) of little decisions that make up EVERY SINGLE DAY of your life.  Add those up — and you have millions of little decisions that shape the course of your entire lifetime.  So what do you say?  Yay or Nay?

Vote “YES” to Happyness — one precious moment at a time!

Spread Happyness — and share your thoughts!  How do you say “YES” to Happyness?

11/4/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church