Ah, it’s this special time of the year again. The air is bristle and cold (for certain hemispheres) and our in-boxes are clogged with Christmas offers, special holiday deals à la “Buy two cinnamon-scented air fresheners and get one rudolf the reindeer key holder for free!”

dogEven if you’re reading these lines cooled by the gentle hum of the air condition amidst palm trees or landscapes hot and dry, chances are you’ve been whacked on the head by special “Christmas offers!” – in fact the holiday of Christmas is so powerful that it’s not limited by either race, religion, creed or citizenship.

Which is quite interesting for an originally religious holiday celebrating the birth of savior-figure, isn’t it?

But, anyways…

How come Christmas is so commonly accepted everywhere on the planet, regardless of culture and climate?

The reason is simple: Christmas means good business.

People love to get presents. And to give them, some say, even outweighs the pleasure of receiving.

Thus, I would say: During Christmas we celebrate the joys of giving and receiving. Some even say it’s the “season of love”, when we get all fuzzy and warm inside as if we’ve swallowed a whole cat, when we feel generous, have spontaneous outbursts of gratitude and compassion. Showing random acts of kindness to strangers. Forgetting about old family-grudges.

Also it’s a perfect time to look back on the year and reflect. While the old year is slowly running out and the new one hasn’t yet completely materialized, it’s a perfect time to stop for a second and take stock!

So, instead of pointing you to special Christmas-Offers (did I mention my recent book is currently available for 50% off?), let’s do that for a second:

What did We Give This Year?

We gave lots of language lessons to people from all over the planet! We gave our best to create individual custom-tailored lesson plans that are as unique as the student taking them. We gave you our scope on the world by writing new articles for you here on the blog, day by day, spearheaded by Jeremiah Bourque who has been intrepidly taking on subjects from politics, economics, linguistics, Zen and many many more, regularly interspersed by my own ramblings about Life, the Internet and everything in between.

We gave you a blog dedicated to Japanese Language Learning. We gave you another one dedicated to the Hebrew language. We built a variety of Facebook Pages through which we offered students the possibility to ask questions, find language learning partners and be exposed to hand picked materials.

What did We Receive?

No matter how much we tried to do, the feeling that we got something back in return was always far bigger. You made us smile with your stories. You downloaded our ebooks and audiobooks by the thousands, fueling our relentless drive to improve what we do, reminding us why we started all of this in the first place: To be helpful. To make people happy! Especially on our rapidly growing community pages, we’ve seen so much participation and good will, it’s not at all exaggerated words of beautification to say we were humbled by your efforts. We saw people asking for help, helping each other, helping us to bring our stuff to the next level. We saw Thank You Notes and waves of gratitude.

What can I say… it simply rocks! 🙂

I also want to thank all the great people who are making this possible: The teachers, the students who take private lessons, all the people who participate on “Learn German Online”, “Learn English Online”, “English Idioms” and other active communities!

Thank You!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

If you like, share this blog post with your friends and ask yourself: “What did I Give and Receive This Year?”

We’d love to hear about it.