‘Tis the season to lighten up and give gifts, so let’s be sure to include gifts of laughter and humor. Annually, let’s Make the First Friday in April (National Humor Month) and the last Friday in November, officially Funny Fridays!
I have submitted those days to Chase’s Calendar of Events
Laughter lifts spirits, reduces stress, connects us to others, makes happy memories, and has healing effects. We need laughter now more than ever, so let’s devote at least a couple of day to creating, buying, giving, exchanging, or otherwise sharing gifts of laughter to tickle the funny bones of friends and family.
The master of movie comedy, Charlie Chaplin, said, “A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine.” I say, let’s bring rays of sunshine to this too-often commercialized, tension-filled season by making the last Friday in November ‘Funny Friday’ (and to National Humor Month, and while you’re at it, any other Friday during the year).
Laughter is a kind of medicine for the good it can do. And, the sound of mirthful laughter is contagious. What we have here is something the world needs now more than ever–something positive that we can catch from each other!
Many people who used to think that laughter was silly or that jokes were immature, have made the surprising discovery that laughter has its own natural, healthful benefits. Every system of the body functions better when you laugh. Laughter has survival value.
I have built an online catalog of things that laugh or that induce mirthful laughter. People love to hear the sound of laughing. In the Old Testament, Sarah laughed with joy and named her baby Isaac, the Hebrew word for laughter. The earliest recordings are of the human voice laughing.
Our ‘child’ lies dormant within each of us and our normal, intended state is to be healthy, magical, and childlike. I recall being a kid whose family spent summers in Atlantic City. One time, I redeemed my winning Skee-Ball tickets at the Penny Arcade for a battery operated mechanical laugh box that came in an orange drawstring bag. All summer, we kids on the beach in my neighborhood never tired of playing with it and falling down again and again in peals of laughter.
Out of that experience, I began to collect other mechanical laughing devices along with audio and video recordings of laughter. There’s actually a DVD of 15 minutes of nothing but laughter, called The Gift of Laughter.
Now, we have electronic toys like the ingenious Laffy Laffalot, gadgets like realistic laughing key chains, family laughing games, and even children’s books that laugh. The World Laughter Tour online catalog also lists various ‘amusements’ like a whirring, light-flashing wizard’s wand, Happy Pills, laughing key rings, and books of jokes & funny stories for all ages from 3 months to 103. George Bernard Shaw observed that, “People don’t stop playing because they grow old, they grow old because they stop playing.”
|Family Laughing Game
|Laughing Happy Pills
|Terrific Joke Book
It has been said that the halls of heaven ring with the laughter of the saints. As you make your gift lists for this season and all through the year, be sure to include laughter and humor. They are appropriate and welcomed gifts for almost any occasion.
1. As you make your gift list, think about what you know about each person’s sense of humor and match it up with something suitable. Don’t send off-color jokes to someone who is more reserved.
2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. A humorous greeting card will do just fine, and you can make your own.
3. Search online for jokes, riddles, or witticisms on topics that you know each person would appreciate (sports, a hobby, kids, business, etc.) and print out a compilation to add to a card or gift.
Your gift of laughter will be memorable for all the right reasons. Gifts of laughter are permission to lighten up, let go and have fun, and they make lasting connections. As Victor Borge said, laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor with a humanitarian mission. As Director of National Humor Month, he intertwines science and ancient wisdom with substance and humor to lead the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to be a rich resource and inspiration for improving productivity, health, and well being in business, healthcare and education.