Free Gifts! (Let’s Talk Listening, Stories and History)
Are you ready for Christmas? I’m not, and I’m totally ok with that.
Yep, I’ve still got baking to do, my house is messy (no surprise) and I barely got the Christmas tree up at a respectable time. One bright spot? I’ve got a pretty good handle on gifts, thanks to my travels across Iowa. I don’t stop with tangible gifts, though. As someone who believes in communicating like a leader and preserving history, I know many of the most meaningful gifts go far beyond items you can buy in the store. Best of all, these gifts are free and can be replenished anytime.
This year, be sure to give:
• The gift of listening. Remember how you felt the last time someone really listened to you? It’s so powerful, especially in this age of digital distractions. There’s something about being heard—truly heard—that fulfills a deep-seated human need for connection. It’s a bonus that listening also offers a great way to learn.
• The gift of stories. Humans also have a deep-seated need for stories. Our brains are wired to remember stories much more that data and facts. Plus, stories can be fun. Not sure where to start? Share stories of your favorite Christmas memories to start a conversation. Since I’m a food writer, you can bet many of my stories revolve around food. Here’s a goodie from my archives about how Lake City’s Shakespeare Club, of which I’m a member, has maintained good taste in small-town Iowa for more than 123 years. (Don’t miss the recipes for my Healthy Corn Tortellini Chowder, Cheesy Artichoke Dip and a festive Celebration Slush.)
• The gift of history. Speaking of memories, pull out the old family photo albums (please tell me you still have some around, right?), or watch your vintage home movies, and have a blast remembering the way you were. I guarantee younger generations will get a kick out of seeing your swinging ‘60s vibe, your ‘70s disco style, your ‘80s mullet or whatever defined your look back in the day. I also love sharing resources that bring history to life with stories and images. Maybe that’s why I’m such a huge fan of Coca Cola Journeys, in which Coca Cola’s top-notch team shares the most interesting stories ranging from storied history of Notre Dame football (and the Coca-Cola connection) to The Story of the Coca-Cola Polar Bears: How Man’s Best Friend Provided the Creative Inspiration Behind the Beloved Icons.
Enjoy these free gifts, my friends, and share the gifts of listening, stories and history with others, not just during the holidays, but year-round.
Have any stories or family history you like to share, especially during the holiday season? Feel free to start the conversation here. I’m listening!
Thanks for stopping by. I invite you to read more of my blog posts if you value intriguing Iowa stories and history, along with Iowa food, agriculture updates, recipes and tips to make you a better communicator.
If you like what you see and want to be notified when I post new stories, be sure to click on the “subscribe to blog updates/newsletter” button at the top of this page, or click here. Feel free to share this with friends and colleagues who might be interested, too.
If you’re hungry for more stories of Iowa history, check out my top-selling “Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites and More” book from The History Press. Also take a look at my latest book, “Dallas County,” and my Calhoun County” book from Arcadia Publishing. Both are filled with vintage photos and compelling stories that showcase he history of small-town and rural Iowa. Order your signed copies today! Iowa postcards are available in my online store, too.
Also, if you or someone you know could use my writing services (I’m not only Iowa’s storyteller, but a professionally-trained journalist with 20 years of experience), let’s talk. I work with businesses and organizations within Iowa and across the country to unleash the power of great storytelling to define their brand and connect with their audience through clear, compelling blog posts, articles, news releases, feature stories, newsletter articles, social media, video scripts, and photography. Learn more at www.darcymaulsby.com, or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Let’s stay in touch. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
Talk to you soon!
P.S. Thanks for joining me. I’m glad you’re here.
@Copyright 2018 Darcy Maulsby & Co.
- Hungry in Hungary (and Austria and Germany) along the Danube
- Events Spark Stories That Help Backcountry Winery Grow in Iowa
- Recalling a Most Unconventional—and Life-Changing--FFA Journey
- In Praise of Ham and Bean Soup
- Quit Using “Stupid Language”
- Mmm, Mmm Good: Soup’s on at the Rockwell City Fire Department
- Communication Tips
- Dallas County
- Food history
- Iowa food
- Iowa history
- Small town
Archive by year
- Growing with Grow: Iowa 4-H Leader Guides 100-Year-Old 4-H Club for 50 Years
- High-Octane Achiever: Ethanol Fuels New Driver Tiffany Poen
- Shakespeare Club Maintains 123 Years of Good Taste in Small-Town Iowa
- Iowa’s Ice Queen: Entrepreneur Caroline Fischer’s Legacy Endures at Hotel Julien Dubuque
- Darcy's Bill of Assertive Rights: How to Communicate and Get What You Need
- Celebrating Pi Day in Iowa with Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie
- Cooking with Iowa’s Radio Homemakers
- Top 10 Tips to Find the Right Writer to Tell Your Company’s Stories
- The “No BS” Way to Protect Yourself from Rude, Obnoxious People
- Learning from the Land: 9 Surprising Ways Farmers Make Conservation a Priority
- Leftover Ham? Make This Amazing Crustless Spinach and Ham Quiche
- Iowa’s Lost History from the Titanic
- Coming Soon--"Dallas County," a New Iowa History Book!
- How to Clean a Burned Pan in 6 Simple Steps
- Iowa Beef Booster: Larry Irwin Takes a New Twist on Burgers
- Get Your Grill On: How to Build a Better Burger
- "Thank God It’s Over:" Iowa Veteran Recalls the Final Days of World War 2
- How to Thank Veterans for Their Military Service
- Imagine That! Writers, Put Your Reader Right in the Action
- Remembering Ambassador Branstad’s Legacy from the 1980s Farm Crisis in Iowa
- Busting the Iowa Butter Gang
- Lightner on Leadership: “Everyone Has Something to Give”
- Show Up, Speak Up, Don’t Give Up
- Small - Town Iowa Polo Teams Thrilled Depression - Era Crowd
- Ethanol:Passion by the Gallon
- Cruising Through Forgotten Iowa History on Lincoln Highway
- Why I'm Using a Powerful 500-Year-Old Technology to Make History--And You Can, Too
- 5 Ways a “History Head” Mindset Helps You Think Big
- Behind the Scene at Iowa's Own Market to Market
- Let’s Have an Iowa Potluck with a Side of History!
- Iconic State Fair Architecture: Historic Buildings Reflect Decades of Memories
- Iconic State Fair Architecture- Historic Buildings Reflect Decades of Memories
- Iowa Underground - How Coal Mining Fueled Dallas County's Growth
- Ultra-Local Eating: Jennifer Miller Guides CSA, Iowa Food Cooperative
- The Hotel Pattee and I are Hosting a Party—And You’re Invited!
- Tell Your Story—But How?
- Mediterranean Delights: Iowa Ag Influences Syrian-Lebanese Church Dinner
- 6 Steps for More Effective and Less Confrontational Conversations
- 6 Steps for More Effective and Less Confrontational Conversations!
- 6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write—Even When You’re Not in the Mood
- Always Alert-How to Stay Safe in Any Situation
- Does Accuracy Even Matter Anymore?
- Soy Power Shines at Historic Rainbow Bridge
- Free Gifts! (Let’s Talk Listening, Stories and History)
- How to Connect with Anyone: Lessons from a Tornado
- Soul Food: Lenten Luncheons Carry on 45-Year Iowa Tradition
- Top 3 Tips for Writing a Must-Read Article
- Darcy's Top 10 Tips to Better Writing
- Top 8 Tips for Building a Successful Freelance Business
- 10 Steps to Better Photos
- Reinventing the Marketer of 2010
- Extreme Writing Makeover
- My Top Social Media Tips for Farmers: REVEALED!
- Honoring the Legacy of Rural Iowa's Greatest Generation
- Iowa's Orphan Train Heritage
- Dedham’s Famous Bologna Turns 100: Kitt Family Offers a Taste of Iowa History
- Iowa Barn Honors Pioneer Stock Farm
- Darcy's Top 10 Tips for Better Photos
- Soup and Small-Town Iowa Spirit
- Savoring the Memories: Van's Café Served Up Comfort Food for Six Decades
- Mayday, Mayday—The Lost History of May Poles and May Baskets in Iowa
- Iowa's Vigilante Crime Fighters of the 1920s and 1930s
- Very Veggie: Iowan's Farm-Fresh Recipes Offer Guilt-Free Eating
- Iowa Public TV's "Market to Market" Features Expedition Yetter, Agri-Tourism, Des Moines Water Works' Lawsuit
- 62 Years and Counting: Calhoun County, Iowa, Families Maintain 4th of July Picnic Tradition
- “A Culinary History of Iowa” Satisfies: Iowa History Journal Book Review
- For the Love of Baking: Lake City's Ellis Family Showcases Favorite Iowa Farm Recipes (Caramel Rolls, Pumpkin Bars and More!)
- Remembering Sept. 11: Iowa Community’s Potluck Honors America
- Talking Iowa Food and Culinary History on Iowa Public Radio
- Talking "Stilettos in the Cornfield," Taxes, Trade and More on CNBC
- FarmHer #RootedinAg Spotlight--FFA Attracts More Women to Careers in Ag
- Rustic Cooking Refined: Iowan Robin Qualy Embraces Global Flavors
- Voice of Reason: Iowa Pork Producer Dave Struthers Offers Top 10 Tips to Speak Up for Ag
- Iowa Eats! Why Radio Iowa, Newspapers and Libraries are Hungry for "A Culinary History of Iowa"
- Iowa Turkeys Carry on National Thanksgiving Tradition
- Riding with Harry: 2016 Presidential Election Reflects Truman's Iowa Revival at 1948 Plowing Match in Dexter
- All Aboard! Rockwell City’s “Depot People” Offer a Taste of Iowa History
- Is This Iowa's Favorite Appetizer?
- O, Christmas Tree! Small Iowa Towns Celebrate with Trees in the Middle of the Street
- Slaves Escaped Through Dallas County on Iowa’s Underground Railroad
- Adel Barn Accents Penoach Winery in Iowa
- Celebrating New Year's Eve in Style at a Classic Iowa Ballroom