Twas the week before 2012 and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... except everyone wondering what the heck this new year is going to bring! The Birdy has mentioned this before, but around New Year's, the anxiety level is up by a fair margin. The holiday is officially over and the real work needs to begin - hit the panic button!! We start thinking about all the things we wanted to do, our intentions start to build up like the clutter of a Hoarder-house, and we either put resolutions in front of us that are so insurmountable, we're destined for failure, or the list just seems too daunting, so we roll over on the couch, have another swig of that leftover eggnog and wait for the feeling to make a resolution to go away. I've been there, done that and my Jaunty Rebel Yell for 2012 is -- be the force for change, but make reasonable goals!

I know, it sounds pragmatic and boring, but it's amazing what little everyday things can do if you commit to small changes and it becomes a daily habit. That was my inspiration for this year's holiday card, which I'm sharing with all before we enter Ye New Year of Twenty-Twelve. I was particularly inspired by ABC News' "Made in America" segments, which went from a small news story and became a regular spot on their program -- they wanted to focus on American companies and how little acts of buying locally-made goods not only benefits the economy, but it secures and ensures more jobs for our fellow friends n' neighbors. And it doesn't always mean it costs more -- get into the habit of looking at your labels any time you buy something. It can be as simple as going to the grocery store and making sure you get fruit that only had to travel one state over (or less, if you can), versus a whole country away. You don't need fresh strawberries in the middle of January -- they probably won't taste that good anyways. But hey, get the frozen ones if they were harvested within the US and likely frozen at their seasonal peak.

This got me thinking about other things -- the fact that hunger still exists in this country, and if everyone just gave a little to programs designed to help and educate those in need, it would move us that much closer to eventually eradicating this need in our own cities and neighborhoods. And hey, don't slack on recycling or finding more ways to support eco-friendly/green initiatives -- the globe ain't gonna stop warming on its own. If you're thinking of adding a fuzzy friend to the household, choose adoption or breed-specific rescue groups, and don't get stuck on the pet being a kitten or puppy -- older pets are just as awesome and likely grown out of the annoying habits like potty-training, teething or learning what a scratching post is for. How often do you get to say you've saved a life? 

These are little, everyday things to consider. These are decisions we make in our daily lives. It won't solve the problems immediately, World Peace may not break out by the end of the week, but if we make the promise to at least do one, manageable thing and stick to it for a whole year, our collective acts work towards improving things and more importantly, improving ourselves and how we play a part in the world. And that is a Jaunty thing to consider, no?

Jaunty Fine Print:  design by Denise Sakaki

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