Category Archives: Friendship

Day 18: Random

 adjective – odd, unusual, or unexpected 

Random people make me laugh.  You know that person that interrupts a conversation with some off-the-wall comment that is absolutely irrelevant to anything that has been discussed thus far.  Yea, you know them.  I have one that lives in my house.  Some might find this trait annoying, but I find it hysterical. Why? Because all along you thought you were having a normal, coherent conversation with him or her BUT when the random comment comes flying out of his mouth, I realize they weren’t really “with” me the whole time.  I love how those random brains work! (Side note: in my house, I often find out some tidbit of trivial information that is quite amusing.  Guess that’s a bonus for me.)

So here’s a word gift that appeals to all those random people in our lives. We only need three tools to make it happen: a stack of Post-It Notes, a pen, and this website. (Scroll down to the bottom of the website’s page too see a ginormous list of positive words.) Once we have our word gift recipient in mind, we can peruse the list of positive words and gather a few that describe him/her. Now we take our Post It Notes and begin to write “You” statements that describe our recipient.  For example, “You are adorable!” “You SPARKLE!” (Might want to save that one for a girl:) “You add ZEST to my life!” “Today I CELEBRATE because you are in my life!”  Get the picture?

Now for the random part.  Begin to place this little notes in the most random of places. Obviously, we want them to be in places that the recipient will eventually find them.  That’s the great part.  If we hide them well, they will find the notes for the next few weeks or maybe months.  Some great hiding places to start with are the bathroom mirror, car dashboard, glove compartment, washing machine lid (this is a good one for moms:-), computer screen, sock drawer, school notebooks, backpack, lunchbox, favorite book, iPod, dinner plate, shampoo bottle.  Really, any place where the note will stick is a good place to put it as long as they can find it.

It’s simple, it’s fast, but it works.  Every time the recipient receives a note, they will be reminded how special they are and that they are loved. Those are never wasted moments!


What is one POSITIVE word to describe YOU today?  Go ahead, make a comment and give yourself a word gift. Those are just as important!

Day 15: Conceal

verb – 1. keep from sight; hide  2. keep (something) secret; prevent from being known or noticed

One of my favorite moments to share with a friend, my kids, or my husband is the private joke moment.  The moment when only the two of you understand the double meaning of a word or phrase.  We could both be in a crowd of people when this private joke reference makes an appearance, and depending on the situation, we either eye one another slyly, or burst into laughter.  It’s a moment of connection that most often brings laughter. Today, however we are going to apply the secrecy of a private joke to a a word gift, aptly named The Concealed Word Gift.

Many years ago, I had a colleague that I had the privilege of working with for three years.  He was an up and coming teacher working on his master’s degree. While working with him, I discovered several things: he was an outstanding teacher, he was the first to graduate college in his family,   he had an all-consuming dream of earning a doctorate in education, and his family did not understand or celebrate his successes. I watched him work steadily toward this dream as he fought his way through grad school while teaching and coaching full-time. And after three years, it happened: he became a doctoral candidate at a well-known Florida university. However, that meant he had to leave our close-knit group of 8th grade teachers.

Of course, we all wished him well and sent him on his way with some type of gift. Being the meaningful gift-giver, I wanted to give him something that signified that I was big-sister proud of his hard work but also encouraged him to continue to fight for his dream. Thus, became the idea for a concealed word gift.

Since he was working towards his doctorate and most days he would need to wear a shirt and tie, I decide to give him a tie. However, on the inside flap of the tie, I monogrammed his name with the abbreviation Dr. before it. Only he would know it was there every time he wore it. I wanted him to remember that he could achieve his dream no matter what his family did or said.  He could rise above and become exactly who he wanted. Did he do it? YES!  Was it because of the tie? Maybe a tiny bit, but really the reminder of his dream was the importance of the gift.

So how can we incorporate the Concealed Word Gift into our gift-giving repertoire?  First it is important to write or find a phrase or quote that fits the situation. For example, if your child has a big sporting event coming up, you could monogram (or write with a permanent marker) the phrase on a pair of socks, or any other sporting gear. Obviously, the goal is to do it in a concealed place, so it’s a “secret encouragement” for only the wearer. Here’s a short list of possible items to conceal your word gift on:

  • tank tops
  • socks
  • cloth shoes (maybe on the inside arch or on the tongue of the shoe)
  • cloth headband
  • sports clothing (like Under Armor or a sports bra)
  • lining of a jacket
  • bottom hem of a shirt (that gets tucked in)
  • baseball hat (on the inner seam)
  • belt (easily written on the inside with a permanent marker)
  • ties (on the inside)

The power of this gift is the “seeing.” Every time the receiver sees the word or phrase, they are encouraged and in most cases, he/she will stop to think of the giver. It’s the whole private joke idea again, except this time without the laughter.

Can you think of a time when “secret” encouraging words shared by a friend or family member came to memory at  just the right moment and helped you keep going?