How to “Goodify” The Holidays

By: Stefanie Schefter

It’s that time of year again—the mall parking lot is packed (as is your calendar), your house is littered with gifts and wrapping paper, and your cookbook is finally getting dusted off again. That’s right, the holidays are here, and there’s no stopping them now.

To make the month of December a little less chaotic (and a lot more fun), I used the practice of “goodification”—something I learned when I became a Life is Good Playmaker—to keep things feeling merry and bright. The Life is Good Kids Foundation trains childcare professionals (and Life is Good employees!) on how to use optimism to make virtually any situation more joyful, connecting, empowering, and engaging, with the primary goal of creating life-changing relationships with vulnerable kids that help them heal, grow, and learn. The best part? Anyone can become a Playmaker, and the optimism-fueled tools they use can be applied pretty much anywhere, at any time.

To put optimism into action, we use “goodification”, which means seeing the good and amplifying it so it can grow. Below are a few examples of holiday season scenarios, and one way to goodify each one:

The Good:

Giving gifts

The Less Good:

Spending tons of $$

How to Goodify:

Get your bake—or craft—on and make something from scratch. You’ll save money, and your gift will come from the heart.


The Good:

Festively wrapped gifts

The Less Good:

Wrapping all those gifts with fancy paper and big bows

How to Goodify:

Throw them all in holiday bags! Better yet, make the bags reusable—Simplicity is a Superpower.


The Good:

Celebrating the season with the crew

The Less Good:

Having a jam-packed calendar

How to Goodify:

Choose a few festive events you’re excited about, and then say no to the rest. Self-care is one of the pillars of the Playmaker practice, after all.


The Good:

Quality family time

The Less Good:

When the dinner table conversation gets tense

How to Goodify:

When the conversation derails, redirect it to something funny. We didn’t decide that Humor is a Superpower for nothing. Better yet, bust out a board game and engage in a little healthy competition that way.


The Good:

Hosting a holiday dinner

The Less Good:

Cooking. All. Day. Long.

How to Goodify:

Ask your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. This way, everyone gets to share something they love and feel empowered knowing there’s food they like to eat on the table.


The Good:

Giving the perfect gift

The Less Good:

Feeling like you’re buying things just for the sake of buying them

How to Goodify:

Buy meaningful items from ethical companies you believe in. Better yet, buy from a small business owner or someone in your local community.

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