Did you notice that holiday and Christmas decorations came early this year? It's not all that surprising, given that opportunities for joy have become even more important throughout this pandemic. My wife and I usually have enough restraint not to untangle the outdoor lights until after US Thanksgiving. Yet there we were, on the afternoon of Remembrance Day (US Veterans Day), joining a trend that hit the news before November was done - people getting their Christmas lights up early. So in the spirit of stringing things together, I hope you'll be encouraged and brightened by the following connections as I string some thoughts together!
Speaking of Christmas lights, what's their history? How long have they been around? A quick internet search led me to a Popular Mechanics article that linked Christmas lights to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert brightening a Christmas tree in 1848 with candles. The article goes on to credit Thomas Edison as the first to string lights together in his Menlo Park, California lab in 1882. While Edison simply displayed the lights around his lab, Edward H. Johnson (the VP of Edison’s lighting company at the time) took it one step further by illuminating his Christmas tree with 80 various-coloured lights, in the process earning himself the title “Father of the Electric Christmas Tree”. Soon after U.S. President Grover Cleveland lit up the White House Christmas tree in 1895, illuminating your Christmas tree became the trend across the country, although being able to do so was financially cumbersome until the 1920s. Imagine spending upwards of $2000 to have an electrician light your tree this month!
Perhaps the most famous Christmas tree of all time, the traditional Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, was first decorated in 1931 as a way for the workers in the building to express their gratitude for having steady employment during the Great Depression. With the exception of blackout-restricted 1944 due to the war, the tree has been lit every year since and continues to draw massive crowds throughout the holiday season - a display that now features 50,000 Christmas lights every year!
From Edison’s rudimentary strands of lab-lights to Rockefeller’s beacon of light that might as well be visible from space, where does a string of Christmas lights connect with us at SierraSil? Aside from our home decorations, we believe that your body can work like a finicky strand of lights at times and we strive to do our part to keep everything “merry and bright”. Everyone knows the struggle of having that one burnt-out light knock out a full string of otherwise perfectly good lights, and we hope that our products can do the same for your body. Whether it’s a sore knee or ankle from your daily jogs or arthritic fingers from years of untangling last year’s hastily-stored holiday decorations (isn’t that always “next year me’s” problem?), we believe our products can help smooth over some of the aches and discomfort to keep your “strand of lights” functioning at its best.
As we wind down 2020 and prepare to celebrate Christmas or other holiday traditions in new ways, we begin thinking about the New Year and resolutions. At SierraSil, we are looking forward to continued progress on our stated goal to help a million people be healthier and more active naturally. What's your vision for yourself and what would you like to strive for? It's important to understand that reaching our goals is seldom a straight line - again, think Christmas lights!
To reach your vision or goal, consider the steps that you need to take in order to reach it. Break that longer-term vision into smaller, manageable steps. Is this the year you run a 1/2 marathon? Perhaps you've never run more than 5 km before, so what will it take to get to that 21.1 km distance? Do you have the right running shoes and comfortable running gear, even for rainy day runs? Do you need a running partner (in person or virtually) to keep you focused? Don’t forget to write all of this down so you can keep yourself accountable. Are there dietary changes you would like to make? Will it be easier if you lose 5 pounds, and perhaps strengthen your knees or hips, or improve flexibility to reduce injury risk? None of this is to discourage you, but quite the opposite! Borrowing from a Chinese proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step and there is no reason that you have to wait until January!
I also have some last-minute Christmas ideas to consider for yourself or a loved one:
- Tiny Habits by Stanford Professor BJ Fogg - emphasizing "Small changes that Change Everything"
- The Mind Body Cure by Westcoast Women's Clinic founder Dr. Bal Pawa - emphasizing “A Truly Integrative Approach to Good Health”
- You can always make use of one of our SierraSil products to naturally ease sore joints and muscles.