A Smile Experiment for the Holidays

No matter who you are, where you live or what your background is, this time of year tends to be chaotic for everyone. The days are jam packed with work meetings in an effort to get it all in before the holidays; social calendars are filled, often double booked on weekends for both kids and adults; and the shopping trips often create heightened traffic and chaos in our local communities. It’s hard to be zen because everyone is moving in different directions. So many Americans cite the holidays as the most stressful time of year. So, how can we really make this easier on ourselves? Last year, I showcased some of my favorite tips for de-stressing over the holiday season. This year, I want to keep it simple – just smile.

I’m a seasoned smiler. When I was in junior high, I used to run into the bathroom in between classes to re-apply my ice blue-pink lipstick. My girl friends would laugh at me because my next move was to smile at myself in the mirror. It didn’t seem funny to me, just natural. If I wanted to see what I looked like in the hallway, I had to smile. In retrospect, it also gave me a jolt of positive energy, a sense of calm before I walked out into the frenzy of junior high drama.

Now, when I’m in the midst of a heavy deadline, disagreement with my son, or stressful conversation, an unexpected laugh or a big ear-to-ear grin always brings a release of positivity. Truthfully, I don’t always draw upon this easy tactic. But, why not…especially during this harried holiday season? Holiday cheer isn’t just about the parties, presents and good times, it’s about spreading this love so we all can feel it.

What if I put down my phone and smiled at the checkout employee at the grocery store? Wouldn’t it feel good and produce a quick conversation or kind gesture?

What if I disconnected from technology while walking in/out of stores, looked at others in the eyes and smiled at them all? Would this induce them to smile to others and pass on this good feeling?

What if we all found opportunities in our daily lives to be present in any given stressful moment and then smile: in a long line waiting for a parking spot, caught in traffic around the malls or waiting for your kids to finish their meals at a restaurant. A smile, whether authentic or forced, often can help promote happiness, even in tough situations.

My wish this holiday season is for us all to find a way to create our own joy and minimize stress. I will be finding way to host my own #SmileExperiment. Will you? Happy Holidays. Please comment below and share with us some of the little things in life that make you smile.

Here are some of my favorite tools that help me smile.

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A Smile Experiment for the Holidays

The #SmileExperiment and this post was inspired after a conversation with my friend and highly acclaimed executive couch, Vivian Ciampi. I can’t take credit for this idea. Since I loved it, I want to try it and motivate others to, as well.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a commission with no costs to you. I pro-actively try various products and then affiliate myself with these items that I already use and love.


  1. I’m all for this smile experiment!
    Akaleistar recently posted…Pressies for Everyone on Your List

  2. I’m all for this!
    Also, I love that you practiced smiling. I did too! And let me tell you – I wish more of my clients did! I get some pretty funny ones in photography.
    Tamara recently posted…Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers: With Giveaway

    • That’s hilarious. Did you ever watch “Friends?” There is an episode where Chandler and Monica go to get engagement photos and Chandler can’t smile. Or, when he tries, it’s really awkward and awful. It’s a funny one.

  3. Wendy Pesce

    The rafflecopter form says the giveaway hasn’t started yet?

    • Hi Wendy. You were one minute too early. The Rafflecopter giveaway started on 11/29 at 12:00 a.m. Check back and you will be able to participate. Have a wonderful day.

  4. Geri Sandoval

    I always say smile and the world looks a lot brighter and happier. A smile and a kind word go a long way, makes you feel good and and other person.

    • I love it. Thanks. I feel the same way about smiling. It’s rainy here today and walking into a room with a big smile goes a long way. Happy Holidays.

  5. Smiles can brighten up a day!

    • Yes, I totally believe that a smile can brighten someone’s day. I remember after I moved to NYC watching the people rush through the subways. As a Midwesterner I was used to smiling at folks and people gave me such an awkward look, but then returned the smile. Felt good.

  6. There are so many things to smile about! I see that you are a cancer survivor. I had skin cancer this year — now cancer free! And I’m currently rooting for a close friend that is battling cancer. Thanks for that list of places to donate this season, that was great!

    • Hi Deb. Congrats on being cancer free. While I’m sorry that you and your friend have had to battle with this, I found that it brought a sense of clarity and appreciation for the world/people around me. I am thrilled you are doing well and will send positive vibes out into the universe for your friend. Happy Holidays.


    When you smile at anyone who is not “happy” it can change how they look at the world.

    • I totally agree with you, Renee. It’s amazing how such a small gesture can really make a difference in a person’s life. Happy Holidays.

  8. Smiling is my my favorite! I think of that elf quote any time I’m in a sour mood! This is a great post!

  9. debra demers

    congrats on being a cancer survivor, We are dealing with this terrible disease in our family too. good luck

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you are dealing with cancer in your family, too. I’m sending positive healing vibes your way. I do believe that attitude and overall positivity does help with healing. Happy Holidays. Wishing you and your family the best.

  10. Angela Saver

    I commented on the following non-giveaway post:

  11. Breanna Pollard


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