There’s no denying that 2016 has been a hard year. There are plenty of valid reasons to want to stay in bed and just wait out these last few weeks, hoping for the best (but probably expecting the worst) for 2017. But if there was ever a time of year to try to salvage what’s left of 2016, it’s the holiday season—the time when we’re reminded that joy and hope can be found in even the smallest acts of kindness and love.
With that in mind, I wanted to bring back a little exercise in spreading joy that I started last year and really want to turin into a holiday tradition around these parts. That’s right, friends; it’s time for a LOVE POST!
What’s a love post? Here are the basic instructions as I remember them from my old LiveJournal days: Make a comment on this post with your username (and things like your Twitter or your Tumblr URL if you feel like people might know you better by those identifiers). Then, sit back and let others reply, telling you how much and why they love you. Finally, share the love! Reply to your friends’ comments on this post and tell them how awesome you think they are, or finally tell that one commenter you really respect how insightful you think their thoughts are.
Will a love post magically fix everything that’s gone wrong this year? Of course not. But it can help all of us find and share a little happiness as we get ready to end this year and start a new one. And if this post can brighten even one person’s day, then my mission will be accomplished.
I’ll kick off the comments to show you how to get things started, and I hope this post is filled with love and happiness by the end of the day. Because, as the Fraggles taught me:
When you’re giving love away
Love will come again to stay
What you give is what you gain
When you pass it on
Katie (aka nerdygirlnotes here and on Twitter) ❤
I’m so glad you still find time to help me understand what each episode of Once really means each week. And I love that you can still kill me with Tumblr tags, even several fandoms down the line from where we began (Currently it’s your Pitch tags that go straight to my heart). Merry Christmas, love!
My beautiful Leslie. This year, even more than usual, you have been one of the strongest pillars of my support system. When everything was uncertain and scary, I knew you were never more than a text away to offer encouragement and hugs (and often chocolate). I would have been way more of a mess than I already felt like I was without your love and prayers.
I really can’t say enough how happy I am and how lucky I feel that we found each other. Your friendship has meant the world to me. In many ways, fandom has helped make me the person that I am and that I want to be and you are a huge part of that. Since I met you, you have seen me and affirmed that who I am and what I care about is important. You’ve encouraged my passions and been an unwavering source of support, love, and kindness and I’ll never thank you enough for how much that has meant to me.
I love you so much ❤
Sweetie! Sooooo glad you brought this back. This is actually one of the reasons we love you. In the middle of the crazy and the negativity, you find a way to focus on hope and love and support and friendship and all those gorgeous things.
Thank you for creating a thoughtful, caring corner of the web. Thanks for being our own Snow White — focusing on hope even when it’s hard. Thanks for being our own Peggy Carter and fighting the good fight. Remember that you have a team here to support you in the fight and the hope. I’m ready to be Rose any time. 🙂
Thanks for your continued enthusiasm and hard work in keeping NGN alive. Writing is hard work. Hope can be hard work. Thoughtfulness (in both senses of the word) can be hard work. I love that you bring the joy of story to your posts.
Thanks for creating a space where we can parse the stories and discuss themes in some depth.
Thanks for creating a space where we can be goofy. (Insert obligatory reference to Colin’s hair, Doctoberfest mug, Peggy hats, etc.)
Thanks for being Katie.
You are one of the shining lights here on the interwebs Katie. You never cease to amaze me how hard you work at your passions and being kind and honest and just truly good. I’m thankful I got to meet you through OUAT on NGN and you make me fall more in love with this show every time I read your words after each episode. God bless you sweetie and I hope you have an amazing holiday!
Katie, my now (sort of) neighbor! I say this all the time, but I cant thank you enough about the community that you have created here. The friends I have made through this site have been a huge part of my support system over the past three years, and have been especially important over the past year after seeing my life completely uprooted and moved across the country. One of the best things about a good online support system is that they are portable! I cant take all of you with me wherever I go.
And it just so happens that where I ended up is here near you. I do really believe that the universe put us together for a reason, and you have been one of the major reasons why this move wasnt quite as scary as it could been. When I start freaking out about what I am supposed to do in the snow, its comforting to know I have someone I can text that knows her stuff (cause trust me 99% of the people I know probably have never even heard the term ‘lake effect snow’, cause I sure didnt before I met you, lol)
I will never get tired of talking TV with you, or your general excitement over anything related to Walt Disney World. And I hope that if I can get over this fear of snow driving we can see more of each other this winter, because I am still in shock you have never been ice skating. It will happen! And I already have the Bison’s Star Wars night on my calendar. ❤
Heather (aka tvexamined)
My beautiful topical fish,
I know this has been such a challenging year for you, but I was so inspired by the way you handled everything thrown at you and still always managed to ask how everyone else around you was doing and took the time to still be so kind and thoughtful toward all your friends. You are such a warm, compassionate person, and you continue to be the single most supportive friend I have ever known.
I’m so thankful for our friendship and for everything it has given me. Whether we’re texting about Pitch or yelling our feelings at each other in Tumblr tags or sitting on a very uncomfortable railing waiting for IllumiNations to start and talking about anything and everything (You can eat my mushrooms anytime, btw.), every single time we talk I feel better than I did the moment before. You have this innate ability to calm me down and make me feel understood, which is such a rare thing to find in life.
This year was hard, but it also gave me so many amazing memories that I was able to share with you: from our mutual discovery of how amazing Maya Hart is to our penchant for sending each other food to dancing our way to Tomorrowland with NSYNC music in the background. It was one of the purest joys of my life to get to share my favorite place in the world with one of my favorite people, and I have never been prouder to have created a new Disnerd in the process. 😉
I love you and appreciate you more than I can articulate in the words I’m allowed in these comment boxes, and there has not been a day in the last month where I haven’t wished to be back at WDW with you. ❤
Heather I wish I could come up with the perfect words to express how awesome of a person you are and how great of a friend you’ve been to me. You’re quite literally one of the kindest and most understanding I’ve ever spoken to. It’s been a gift to get to know you and while I had reached out more over the past year I’m grateful for all the great conversations we got to have. I hope you have an amazing holiday darling!!
Hello friend. We sure have had a challenging year. And even though you are not around as much these days I still feel your presence and support. You have always been welcoming and I love hearing all of your thoughts on TV and anything really. I think you may have the broadest TV tastes out of anyone here at NGN, and its always fun to know what you watching! You were one of the main reasons I started watching ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and I have been very happy with that decision. And your “best of” lists are always a December highlight.
And yes, when you are ready to talk Korra, I am here. Sean and I watched the entire series last year and I loved it. Ive been very impatient with the comic book series they keep promising! I will be hoping that your Katie visiting schedule gets you out this way soon, or maybe I will find myself down at WDW for a NGN extravaganza.
Heather, I’m very sorry I don’t know you as well as I should. I know you are a beautiful tropical fish, because Katie always says things that are true, and she says so many good things about you so you must be totally awesome. I need to follow Katie into the Heather fandom too 😉 And you love great TV, so we are obviously some kind of soul mates. I’m sorry I don’t know you well enough to be more specific but writing this is making me realize I want to know you better. Thank you for your kind comments.
I’m so glad you and Katie have each other which allows us all to enjoy this space that Katie has created. Have a lovely day (and prepare to be followed!)
Shauna (aka @shaunapiranha on twitter)
There's been a ton of change in your life this year and that is never easy. And while I haven't been as active on Twitter or NGN as usual, I've really enjoyed reading all of your comments here and seeing your pictures and following along as you've explored the East Coast and all the new breweries near you.
I'm hoping next year won't suck quite as badly as this one and I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things and talking to you more (especially about Legend of Korra because I have feelings).
My favorite new WNY-er,
I hope 2017 brings you the stability and clarity that 2016 lacked. So much was thrown at you this year, but through it all, you never stopped appreciating the little bits of good that came your way—whether that was finding new favorite places (East Aurora!), enjoying the fall scenery, appreciating a good beer, or admiring Colin O’Donoghue’s face. 😉
You are one of the most generous, thoughtful, and resilient people I know, and I hope you know that I admire you so much for the way you handled everything that happened this year.
I’m so grateful that you decided to risk being called a stalker all those years ago and started a friendship that has brought so much joy and fun into my life. 😉 Meeting you this year was a definite highlight of 2016. I cannot wait to hopefully hang out this weekend (Stay away, snow!) and to continue to make memories as long as you call WNY home. It’s been so much fun to watch you discover parts of my little corner of the planet, and your perspective has helped me see the place I’ve always called home in a new, brighter light.
From sincerity faces to supporting my chocolate/peanut butter problem, you are the kind of person who is 100% herself both online and in person, and that is a rare thing to find. I am beyond thankful to have found that kind of friend in you who I can also be myself with—both online and over drinks now that we can finally do that!
The awesome-sauce that is Shauna!
Thanks for being my partner-in-crazy . . . for going with me down rabbit trails and laughing at inappropriate things and appreciating Colin’s hair and angsty jaw clenches. Thanks for perfectly placed snark and insight. I always look forward to reading your comments. (I have also learned NOT to have a beverage around while doing so.) Thanks for the perspective you bring on relationships and characters. (Not all of us open up quickly — thanks for being the champion of that point of view.) Thanks for the insight AND the funny AND the Buffy. Thanks for hanging out here despite the upheaval that has been your life recently.
Keep rockin’ the awesome-sauce that is you.
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to coming to this space to find out what you thought about our show. Long insightful enthusiastic comments are my favorite! I love seeing my favorite from your perspective. I find myself smiling and nodding and wanting to shout YES at my computer every time. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to follow you on Tumblr but I’m looking forward to getting to know you better. And you have an awesome screen name. ❤
Jo:) aka rockinpolkadots on Tumblr
Jo! I’m so glad that you’re still such a big part of NGN all these years later. I’m always happy to see you around and to read your thoughts on episodes or TV in general. ❤
I am so happy you have followed me from fandom to fandom for so many years; fangirling isn’t the same without you! I loved flailing over Nick and Jess with you back in the day, and I love having Tumblr freakouts about Ginny and Mike with you now. And I have loved every ship and show we’ve shared along the way—from OUAT to Nashville. You always remind me that fandom should be something that brings you joy, and reading your comments every week always bring me joy. Thank you for always making me laugh, making me think about things in another way, and making me feel less alone in my burning desire to have two fictional characters JUST KISS ALREADY!
Here’s to a new year filled with new fandoms to share and new ships to love! ❤
Jo, I have always enjoyed your comments here on NGN and I am especially grateful that Katie pulled you into the OUAT madness. I feel like you have perfected the art of being simultaneously excited and laid-back when it comes to all things fandom and that is rare and refreshing!
I love seeing your avatar when you pop into comment. Your enthusiasm is wonderful, and I love how we can depend on you to join in the crazy . . . such as blue Pringle comments.
Tempest (or she who does not social media)
My Rose. ❤ You never cease to make me smile. Seriously, when I see a comment with your name on it, I smile before I even read it. You are one of the biggest reasons why the NGN comments section remains something I am so proud of all these years after I first got this site up and running. You are always welcoming to your fellow commenters, you bring up amazing points, and you are a cornerstone of my online support system (which no fangirl should ever be without). Your unfailing generosity has brought me joy more times than I can count, and your pitch-perfect sense of humor has made me laugh out loud in my office more than once.
Thank you for keeping things light when shows can get dark and for offering heartfelt analysis when it's called for, too. Thanks for making me feel understood, supported, and like I always have someone in my corner (wearing an awesome Peggy hat, of course). You're such a valued member of this NGN Family, and I'm going to raise my imaginary Doctoberfest mug (why do we not really have these yet?) to you right now. Cheers, friend!
Tempest, my partner in crime!! The day you came to us I immediately knew that we were going to get along great. I love your good natured snark and OUAT and NGN just wouldnt be as fun without you. Before you came along I feel like I did a bit more censoring of my posts. There are still times I think, “nobody will think that is funny”, or, “this is too petty”, or “this is too demented” but then I think “Tempest would probably enjoy it”, so it stays. So thanks for being the comment devil on my shoulder 🙂
I still consistently mourn your lack of social media. More of your presence on a daily basis would be a welcome thing. The weeks that OUAT are on hiatus I feel an absence, and that feeling comes not from the show itself, but because it means that is a week I wont be hearing from you and the other regulars here. I am hoping there will be a way for us to keep in touch as shows come and go!
Tempest! Your comments are awesome. I love to come here and find out what you have to say each week. How many times have I replied to your comments with a YES THIS! type of message because you put into words what I was thinking, or what I realize I should have been thinking? I don’t think I would appreciate Once anywhere near as much as I do without you (and Katie and these other lovely folks) helping me process all my thoughts and feelings in this space. I’m totally with you in the avoidance of fandom in social media spaces (happy little bubbles on the edges of things are my jam) but I’d also like to get to know you better, so I’m sad I can’t stalk you other places. I guess we’re about to take a hiatus so I will say Merry Holidays and see you soon I hope ❤
I’m adding a general group hug for everyone — for all the long-time posters, the long posters, the brief posters, newbies, etc. Thanks for making this such a fun corner of fandom and deepening the viewing experience. I love knowing that I can come here and see
— that I’m not alone in my reaction. (So, knowing that all my NGN-ers rolled their eyes — or more — at the EQ-Rumple “chemistry.” That someone else is going to mention Colin’s jaw clenches or hair.)
— different insights into a story-line or character or whatever. There are connections or aspects I would have missed except for someone here. It’s great when people connect their personal experience to help me understand a character’s actions, etc.
— different interpretations of a story-line or character or whatever. While I love knowing that someone had the same reaction I did, sometimes it’s great to see different reactions or reads on the same story. I also love that this is a place where people explain. I love seeing how you got there.
— the blend of critique and enjoyment. The internet doesn’t seem to get the fact that you can critique a show and still be positive.
— that I haven’t been permanently blocked for too many Doctoberfest references. 🙂
I’m sure I’m forgetting some things, but everyone have some virtual chocolate while we think of other stuff we love.
GROUP HUG! 🙂
(as usual, YES! to all of that)