A letter to my neighbor (who stole my Christmas present)

I returned home a wonderful week visiting friends and family for the holidays. I found some mail waiting for me in my apartment lobby – which had been opened for me.

My aunt mailed a Christmas present to me aaaand….it got stolen.

Here was my reply:

Dear Neighbor, 

I’m guessing you like presents….

Since you opened my mail and took items that were sent to me, you seem like the type 😉 From what I understand, my Aunt Linda sent me a card, a gag gift, and a check. Well, the check was cancelled, the card was for me, and the gag gift probably didn’t mean much to you. 

To compensate, these are for you 

-A gift card to Old Navy (It can’t be cancelled! 😉 ) 

-A Chicago Cubs shirt (Hope you’re a medium) 

-An opened Mp3-Mp4 Digital Audio Player (I’ve had this thing for ever – thought you might want it more than me. Oh, and sorry I didn’t wrap it…) 

Here’s the thing, neighbor – I don’t condone stealing. But I also don’t condone hate. I hope these gifts bring you joy and hope. Apparently this reaction isn’t common – so just know that the next person you take from might not respond this way. 

Happy New Year Neighbor, 

Tony (Unit 14) 

PS – Grab these quick. It would suck if someone stole them before you could get what was delivered to you. (See what I did there? 😉 Sorry….but seriously grab ‘em!)

I shared this letter in a Facebook Live video. I asked friends to share it. So far, we’re up to 800 views and 22 shares. Why is this awesome? Because it’s telling the world that #LoveWins. 

I’d be sad if anyone’s takeaway from this message is, “What the hell?! Why would anyone do that?!” Because asking “Why is _______ so terrible?” or “Why does ______ always happen?” are both very, very disempowering questions.

My hope is that this message gets shared. My hope is that it gets shared over and over until eventually this type of reaction isn’t different or odd….it becomes the norm.

So….help me share it? 


Thanks friends.

Let’s go get ’em.

Other links you might like: 

My youtube channel!

A replay of my follow up video 🙂


Set intentions. Focus on feelings. Enjoy your holiday.

Before you start reading yet another blog thoughts and feelings during then holidays, let’s clear something up right now.

This thought of “I think differently than you, so this just won’t work for me” is bullshit. We all have a why. It’s deep. It prevents us from procrastinating and pushes us out of bed every day. It’s what stops us from hitting snooze. It’s what makes us want to go for a run even when it’s twenty degrees out. Our why makes the uncomfortable worth doing. In fact, it what makes us need to do it.

There will always be stories of how someone else got past failure and into success. When we see the interview, they share their up bringing and how it lead to their different mindset. That’s their why. It’s not yours. If you don’t relate to it, you’re not a failure. You’re just you.
With that, I want to share some thoughts that are just me. I want to share my holiday intentions.

I wrote on Thanksgiving how holidays are fun when we focus on how we want to feel. This month I’m sharing how I want to reach these feelings:

How I spend my time

My intentions are to plan and schedule ahead of time during my trip home. This includes time for others as well as myself. I prefer to spend most of my time with others, but still leave a little bit for me. Planning ahead will allow me to spend quality time with others and not leave too mmuch down time to the point where I get bored.

How I eat

My intentions are to eat good food and enjoy the holidays. It’s what they’re for 😀 They’re also for feeling happy. I’m not happy when I eat or drink too much. Planning and setting intentions beforehand will let me feel happy and avoid feeling gross, bloated or that pesky feeling one gets after finish another bottle of wine…#notperfect

Most important

The thing about intentions is that they’re a goal we’re aiming to hit. The goal is a feeling and shouldn’t be dependant on specific outcomes. There’s more than one way to achieve these feelings. Make sure you’re leaving yourself some options should your original intent be impossible to meet.

What are your intentions for the holidays? Share ’em. I wanna hear.

And as always, if you have a friend who might benefit from this, I’d love for you to give it a share.

Thank you all for reading. Have a wonderful Christmas. Go get ’em.

How To Avoid A Letdown For New Year’s Eve


Okay. You know the drill. When there’s a big event you’re excited for, you have the date circled on your calendar. You put in lots of time and energy just thinking about it. Then there’s planning, lots of messaging back and forth with friends, plus the “Oh my god, what on earth am I going to wear?”(We can’t show up looking like a jackass…)

I experienced something similar last week. It was Christmas morning. Not only was it my first Christmas with family in five years, but it was also my first Christmas with anyone in five years. (Don’t feel bad –it was my own choice). I decided last minute that this this had to be a good Christmas.

It started off great. I even got my workout in while my parents went to church.

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I may or may not have brought my laptop and workout DVDs with me…

When they got back, Dad mentioned he was hungry. “Perfect!” It’s Christmas! Why not make this morning special and grab something food and cocktails (emphasis on cocktails) before meeting up with the others?

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In my head, this was a glass of champagne and a pastry. We settled for Andy’s Diner. I had a slice of scrapple (It’s a Pennsylvania thing) and a Hurricane.

While the rest of the day went well, it was rather low key. I still wanted that extra “oomph” to really make it a day. I had a few ideas:

-Drinks at the hotel bar before bed.

-Room service (not nearly as fancy/expensive as you’d think) with drinks while watching “Love, Actually” (best Christmas movie of all time).

-No other ideas. This idea of a “perfect Christmas” just clicked into my head earlier and clearly one of these would work. 

…..neither worked. Everything at the hotel was closed. And I let it ruin my evening.

A few issues here: I didn’t plan ahead. I didn’t allow myself any other options. And I also didn’t allow the idea of that “perfect ending” to take place another night. (You can totally still watch “Love, Actually” before January 1st, even though it’s a Christmas movie.)

Ultimately for big and special events, we tend to set the bar pretty high without giving ourselves “breathing room” to let the evening go where it wants to go. Things come up. Places are closed. Some crucial aspect to your party don’t get there in time. (How are the ice sculptures coming for our party, by the way?)

On New Year’s Eve, focus on how you want to feel during the evening. Be aware it might not be “perfect.” Focus on what you can control. Personally, I want to have fun among friends I love, drink champagne at midnight, and laugh. A lot. I don’t want to feel stressed, and I definitely don’t want to feel like things “aren’t as good as they should be.”

Have fun tomorrow! Go out, get crazy. Or don’t. Do something low key. Whatever you decide on, make it fun and make it special.

Stress Free Holiday Tip

Talk to ya next year, friends.