10 June 2018

Make Someone's Day

One evening last week, as the whole family sat down for a night of playing "Golf," a favorite card game, my 11-year-old sister declared, joy clearly spilling out of every pore, "This is the best day of my life!!"

All of us stopped for a moment and looked at her in surprise. I stopped shuffling the deck of cards. This is a kid who has been to DisneyWorld and Paris and London and Angkor Wat...she's had lovingly-planned, elaborately-themed birthday parties...and here she is calling this day, as we're about to start our game, "the best of my life"??

She noticed our confusion and went on to clarify that this is the "best day of my life right now." But I know what caused her exuberant joy and dramatic declarations of best-ness over a seemingly simple family game night. This girl loves to play games. She loves to gather the family around the table for a board game or party game of any sort. She's not picky. She even occasionally plays Monopoly with her teddy bears as the other players when she can't convince anyone to play with her. Game nights with her family are her idea of the good life.

And yet...they're rare. Because Angel wants to go for an evening run, big sister is working on an art project, other big sister is playing with the baby, mom and dad have work or meetings...or we're all too tired and there's the draw of Youtube or an episode or two of a television show. And somehow in the midst of all these things, which are also fun and important in their own ways, the chances for "best days" are frittered away. Still, we all know how to turn a normal day into the "best day" for her, and maybe if we make an effort to keep that knowledge at the forefront of our minds, we'll do it a bit more often.

In fact, I'd guess that most of us know how to make our loved one's days...and most of the time, our excuses for choosing not to do the simple things that would make their day a "best day" a little more often are a little too flimsy. The easy ways to "make someone's day" vary greatly from person to person--for one person, it might be buying takeout so they don't have to cook, while for another, it might be cooking a favorite meal, doing a chore that they usually have to do themselves, or making time in the schedule for participating in their hobby of choice. Telling them you'll take care of the dishes and the laundry tonight and they can pull out their art supplies. Many times, it might be sending a postcard to someone you know loves happy mail, or typing out a quick text to tell someone that you noticed the effort they put into a project and that it was well done. Most importantly, KNOW the person when you're trying to turn their day into a "best" one. Bring me a cup of coffee while I'm working at my computer and I'll just be mystified...and I won't drink it, sorry. I can't get myself to drink the stuff, not even for social purposes. But bring one to my mom, a cup of coffee made in her favorite cup with the right amount of milk added, and her eyes will light up.

There will always be a reason to not put in the thought or time or effort to make someone's day...but in reality, most of the time, it's far easier than we expect it to be to put a big smile on someone's face. All we have to do is keep our eyes and ears open: notice the little favorites and wants and likes of those in our everyday lives, and then instead of zoning out in front of the TV at the end of a long work day...pull out a deck of cards. It's worth it.

What are some of the simple ways that you've found to turn everydays into "best days" for your friends and family?


  1. I love this and I’m also a little convicted. So thank you for that (seriously)!

  2. I agree that paying attention to the simple things and also making a point of staying in the moment help us focus on what is important, which is of course those we love. Showing those we love appreciation in small ways makes life more enjoyable. It is hard to do though when your significant other is on the other side of the world.


  3. This is awesome! I agree, and I think you make a great point about being alert to what each person in particular appreciates and enjoys instead of doing something generic. It reminds me of how, from time to time, my husband has brought me small bouquets of wildflowers or dandelions from the side of the road, because he knows that I appreciate those so much more than the polished and mass-produced bouquets of flowers they sell as the grocery store (dandelions in particular are my favorite "flower")!

  4. What a sweet sentiment and so true! If we go outside and play basketball and/or catch with our son, he will light up. He loves those times we take to spend doing an activity he loves. You are so right, we get caught up in our day to day, and forget how simple it is to bring a smile to our loved ones faces.

  5. Awww I love this post so much. Such a wise 11-year-old!! I think a big part of these best days is just that feeling of togetherness, of being all in the same place, physically but also mentally, without distractions. That time celebrating each other often makes my days the best, too :) thanks for sharing this, and here’s to more card games and getting back to the simple things in life.

  6. This is a beautiful post. It's true, simple family times are just the best. It's the same in our family--just playing dominoes or Clue or some other game around the dining room table with a bowl of popcorn is precious time together and happens too rarely.

  7. I love this so much! Kids are great models for living in the moment. And I'm with your daughter - I love playing games. I'm definitely going to be more intentional about trying to make someone's day every day. :)

  8. Oh gosh, I love this so much - and I tweeted it out just now! I think a lot of people can have a 'best day' with just a simple gesture, but it's true that we don't always take the time or inclination to do it. I kind of think of these as "love languages" in a way - mine is giving gifts, so I love to do that, but it's not everyone else's, so I have to think of THEIR love language - spend time with them, etc.