As we enter the holiday season, my thoughts are focused on spending time with my family. I look forward to watching holiday movies like ELF (you're going to need to watch this clip because it will make you happy). ELF is one of my favorites because of Will Farrell's infectious childlike joy...
Then there's the Holiday Inn where my kids and I enjoy the song-and-dance while seriously discussing the nuances of historical context in some of the questionable scenes. Before we watch White Christmas, we enjoy preparing a sandwich to put on the mantle. What, you don't do this? Those actors look hungry, for reals. And don't even get me started on the Harry Potter marathons. I. Am. So. Excited.
I also have a tradition of baking with my daughter and nieces and letting flour coat the kitchen like a dusting of snow on the mountains. It's a beautiful sight and likely the only snow we'll get in our part of California!
The baking babies in action: my nieces Hannah and Nina and my daughter Lucy.
At the end of the day, we light a fire, collect candles on the table and shine the light of the holiday spirit on everyone we see and everything we do. <sniff>
Community is the ultimate family
For many of us, our family extends far beyond the people to which we are actually related. We have aunties that are not really aunts, sisters that are best friends and neighbors that we've adopted. Some of us have coworkers that are closer to us that some of our own family members.
It's in that sense of family that community takes its shape. People are bound together by common values, goals and tasks whether it's a family, a church, a tribe or even an online community. (See what I did right there? Yeah, that happened.) That's where you all come in!
I might be going out on a limb (or maybe I drank a little too much of the holiday spirit) but I think that the Jive community is a family. I've never before met an unrelated group of people so bound together by passion for a topic or quest for community goals. I mean, JiveWorld is PROOF.
Look at this tribe of Jive Community members at JiveWorld14! Holla in the comments if you see yourself here.
I believe that in the heart of each community manager is this burning drive to bring people together -- to make an even bigger and better virtual group hug. It's what makes us special.
Warm feelings for my Jive Community family
I want each and every one of you reading this to know how much I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you writing your posts and commenting on other's posts. I appreciate each question that you answer and every piece of spam that you flag for moderation. I am extremely grateful every time you volunteer to run a group or host a discussion. For being involved and present, you have my unending thanks.
This virtual place that we call the Jive Community is REAL. It is real because behind every avatar there is a person. YOU. You might be sitting at a desk, on a sofa or even at a dining room table. You might be located in Los Angeles, London or maybe even Lisbon. You could be working from a coffee shop, hanging out in the home office or posting from a train travelling 70 miles an hour down the tracks. Regardless of where you are, you are also HERE and we are working better together because of it.
Each and every one of us plays a critical role in this family and I rely on you to make this place alive: to light the fires, to help me bake the cookies, to bring presents for the orphans and to laugh at all the "really funny parts" with me.
I might be getting a little emotional, I've already been accused of it today, and the sappy holiday music I have piped into my headphones isn't making me less sappy.
It's like this at my desk...
Regardless, I'm going to say it and here it is: I need you. Jive needs you. We need all of you here making a difference in the Jive Community.
And in case you are feeling extra generous and would like to do even more in the new year, please let me know. We all want this place to be the best community it can be. To not only be a place to get questions answered but to be the community that reigns over all communities. Because that's who we are together!
We are the leaders, the movers and shakers of community. Believe it and bring it. Together, we are the people running some of the most vibrant and powerful online communities in the World! That's freaking amazing people!
My holiday wishes for you
Please accept my heartfelt wishes for a Happy Holiday however you choose to celebrate. May your days and nights be filled with warmth, giving, togetherness and good memories. Now, give me a group HUG!