A Freshly Minted Holiday

Posted by on Dec 15, 2010 | 7 Comments

One favorite acting-term, from my theatre-days, that I still like to apply in my life is called “fresh minting”.  The term “fresh minting” means experiencing something you’ve done or said before as if it’s the very first time.

Last weekend, as Perry Como’s rich baritone voice filled our rental car with The Little Drummer Boy (we just happened to be driving through Perry Como’s home town of Canonsburg, PA, complete with his snow covered statue!), I found myself slipping back in time a few years, when my kiddo Jeremy was about to turn two. That was the first year he was really old enough to start participating in the season’s festivities, so everything was new and exciting – the year he taught us how to “fresh mint” the holidays.

As many of you know, music is a big part of my life, so in our house, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey has met his demise, the carols hit the airwaves.  The Little Drummer Boy has always been a favorite (the Celtic Women version is particularly awesome), and the year we started teaching Jeremy the song, we would sing the lyrics and he would jump in with a rousing “Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum!”

Like all of you, I’ve heard The Little Drummer Boy hundreds if not thousands of times over the years.  I’ve heard it, sung it, but to be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the words until the year we taught it to Jeremy (one of the best things about teaching something is that you have to re-learn it yourself!).

So that year, as I launched into the second verse, I actually paid attention…

Little baby, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.

I am a poor boy too – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.

I have no gifts to bring – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum

That’s fit to give our king, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum, rum-pa-pum-pum.

Shall I play for you – pa-rum-pa-pum-pum – on my drum?

And, with my son belting out, “Pa-rum-pa-pa-pum!” in the background, I thought to myself … maybe the little drummer boy had the right idea.

After all, the first verse talks about bringing our “finest gifts” to “lay before the king”, yet the little drummer boy totally stole the show by simply showing up with heart and sharing his gift.  Maybe instead of jumping into the shopping fray, to buy the newest video game or legos set, the “finest gifts” can’t be purchased at the mall.

What would happen if, this year, we all decided that the best present we could give anyone would be to share our gifts? I recognize that we don’t all possess musical talents, but we all have gifts.  The gift of being present.  The gift of really listening.  The gift of really seeing.  Really being ourselves.  Really appreciating one another for our own uniqueness.  Really showing up with heart, and as if it were the first time we’ve said it, let someone know how much they mean to us.

What if, as leaders, we allowed ourselves to really show up?

I was leading a program last week in which the CFO popped into the room to chat briefly with the leaders in my class.  During his conversation, he shared with them that he’s really working on listening to the people who report to him.  He recognized that he has a tendency to come into meetings with his mind made up, and rarely gave others a chance to share their ideas, or concerns, and that it was costing him, and the company.  When he was talking, the room was electric.  The entire group agreed, after he left, that his most powerful moment was when he risked sharing his own challenges and put voice to his intention of getting better and commitment to growth.  They were inspired.  They were willing, after that, to take a look at themselves and what they could do to grow.  They respected him and felt connected to him.  His ability to really show up made him a leader they wanted to follow and set the stage for them to do the same.  To really show up.  What a gift.

“Fresh minting” requires being present.  Completely.  Present and real.  And maybe being present really is the best present.

Fresh mint your holidays this Season and see how it can make a difference in your life.


©OnStage Leadership, 2010

If you found this helpful, interesting, thought-provoking, or inspiring please “recommend”, “Like” and share.  It is only through your generosity that we can reach those who may find it valuable too.  My sincere thanks.  Kimberly


  1. Kathy Light
    December 16, 2010

    Oh Kimberly, how is it possibly that you can write such a perfect and perfectly crafted message on top of everything else you do? You inspire me to be better every time I see you, hear you speak, and read your words. I am so lucky to call you my friend!

    Sending love and gratitude,


  2. Kimberly
    December 16, 2010

    Well, dear Kathy, the gratitude goes both ways! Thank you for your thoughtful note, for YOUR inspiration, and your friendship.

  3. Marsha
    December 16, 2010

    What a beautiful newsletter. I am fortunate enough to beable to practice being present this week-end with my two favorite people. Thanks mucho. Mom

  4. Opal Marrs
    December 16, 2010

    It is interesting to me how every day things that come our way can be our inspiration. You have a way with anecdotal material in your writing and in your speaking. It is what flavors your presentations. I have reams of material that came to me that way. Even my comedy routine began that way, with material which inspires (I hope) and brings out humor in everyday life. I am so proud of you and proud to claim the honor of being your friend.


  5. Gary Rifkin
    December 18, 2010

    Wow. Once again you have made the perfect connection. Thanks Kimberly for always being so authentically present. You inspire by your words but even more with your authentic presence.

    Thanks for all you do!


  6. Todd
    December 19, 2010


    “Here and Now” is a phrase which has impacted my life much- “fresh minting” is a wonderful taste of life in the the ‘here and now’.

  7. Kimberly
    December 22, 2010

    Gary, As my inner child would say, “Takes one to know one!” 😉 Thank you for your thoughtful note. I appreciate you!

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