When I need ideas for book displays and library programs, I frequently turn to calendars and lists of goofy holidays for inspiration. There are some truly ridiculous celebrations out there. (Like, this month’s Craft on the Go was inspired by National Drinking Straw Day on January 4. Now you know.)
Thus, I discovered that yesterday, January 24, was National Compliment Day. Cool, huh? I kind of like the idea of a day set aside to remind us to be nice to each other (and ourselves). I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like to hear someone say something kind to them?
When I was in high school, I participated in something called Operation Snowball. (I don’t know if that’s still a Thing, but, if it is, check it out! It was SO much fun!) We had day-long and weekend-long retreats where we did a ton of different things. (I won’t go into great detail. If you have any questions about Snowball, you can refer to the Wikipedia article here or ask me about it. I’d be happy to share.)
One of the things we did at every event was make “warm fuzzies.” A “warm fuzzy” is a braided yarn necklace with a yarn pom-pom at the end. Throughout the day or weekend, people would remove a piece of yarn from their pom-pom and tie it to another person’s necklace while giving them a compliment or saying something nice to them. Sounds silly and it was, but also awesome and meaningful and fun!
By the end of the event, each participant had a necklace full of little yarn bows, and a seriously depleted pom-pom. I went to 9 separate Snowball events and I saved all of my warm fuzzies in a giant tangled rainbow mop that a friend of mine referred to as my “rat’s nest.” I saved those things for years! I finally threw them out sometime in my 20s, but I did save one strand from each of them that I made into a tiny pom-pom that I still keep.
The point here is: compliments are powerful. That little pom-pom still makes me smile – 20 years after the actual words were said. YOU are powerful; the things you do and say have a profound effect on those around you. You get to decide what kind of effect that will be.
The great thing about compliments is that they don’t have to be grand or eloquent; they just need to be genuine. If you need help thinking of kind things to say, there is a decent list of compliments on this website. It would be fantastic if we could remember to be kind every day. But, National Compliment Day is a good place to start.