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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
3 minutes reading time (588 words)

“What If” Every Day Was Christmas?

Last week I wrote about what our personal pieces of “art” will look like in the New Year. As I was making my list of wishes and B.H.A.G.s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), I began thinking about my own personal “what if’s” as well as those facing our community in the coming years. It’s hard to argue that many of the decisions we make individually as well as a community really do have an impact on those around us. Obviously those impacts can be either negative or positive, but either way each of our actions does cause a reaction of some type on down the line.

I found myself asking over and over again, “what if?” What if those of us who had the means would make time in 2014 to help someone we do not know who is a bit less fortunate? What if we took the time to go door to door on our own street and introduced ourselves to a neighbor we have not yet met? What if we started filling a jar with our loose change for the next 11 months so that next year at this time we might have a little extra to toss into the Salvation Army’s Red Bucket instead of using the store entrance located as far away from the bell-ringer as possible (I saw this happen nearly every time I was out visiting our local retailers). Better yet, what if we give some of it to our youngest shoppers for them to place in the bucket to reinforce teaching them to share and help others? What if we use some of the spare change we collect to help out with the Big Brothers “Mother’s Toy Store” or maybe we could donate it to the “Shop with a Cop” program? What if we made this the year we helped support the local art community by attending a play at Encore Theater, maybe support “Music in the Park” this summer at Charlie Daniels Park, or attend a musical by our very own Cedar Creek Community Band?

If you have a passion for animals, maybe this is the year to volunteer at the Animal Shelter. Do we know or have even met our local council person or school board member? If not, what if this is the year we find time to introduce ourselves and share with them our vision for our future? Years ago I had a manager by the name of Terry Troyer who was fond of saying “if if’s and but’s were candy, we’d all have Christmas everyday”. Well, my friend Terry passed this year but I think of him often.

In all of the hustle and bustle of the season, “what if” it really was like Christmas every day? Some might consider this one of those BHAG. Perhaps it may be. On the other hand it really is quite simple if you think about it. Someone once told me that “from those who have much, much is expected”. I very much believe that to be the case. Merry Christmas to each of you! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber #mjchamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit 24/7 at

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