Montana Community Inspired by Holiday Spirit

Topics: ,
  • Bigfork InnI’ve lived many places in the Unites States and have never felt more at home anywhere than I do right now. In order for any place to feel like home, it must have a sense of community. It’s the interaction with other likKodae-minded people that gives life meaning and enriches our everyday experiences.

    This morning I literally walked into a Currier and Ives picture postcard, in our town of Bigfork, Montana. I was invited to “be an elf” and help decorate the small town we call home. This is our first Christmas to be living here, so this was a new experience for me, and what an experience it was.

    With the sun up less than an hour, the air was brisk at 8:30am when we met at Elf Central to receive our assignments to decorate the exterior of the shoppes in our artsy community.  Geographically, we’re so far north that our wintTom with garlander days have less than 9 hours of sunlight this time of the year. Winter has arrived and Koda was loving it!

    In spite of the cold, I saw hundreds of smiling, rosy-cheeked neighbors, decked out in Santa hats, scarves and gloves ready to work. The smell of the fresh cut garland permeated the air Street shotas snow flurries fell on my face. In the distance I could hear Christmas carols coming from one of the shops. It felt like a Montana Christmas already.

    For a town with a population of only 1500 people, I was impressed that more than 300 people turned out to hang freshly made garland, set up and decorate Christmas trees, and beautify our town with holiday decorations. Folks drove hours to join in and be a part of the festivities. I met one family who flew in from California to experience our small town holiday celebration. garland

    Touched by the spirit of camaraderie shared between my fellow elves, there was no hierarchy, just a bunch of neighbors getting together to have fun and make our town beautiful. Just walking down the blocked off main street, the holiday spirit was palpable. Everyone was smiling. Folks gathered around the fire pit at the end of the street and shared stories and warmth from the fire. This is community at its finest. hot chocolate

    From the free coffee and hot chocolate golf cart, complete with Schnapps and Baileys, to the garland trucks, the bow wagon and the hundreds of bright red Santa hats dotting our landscape, this is my community. This is home. This is our town.

    I am overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude I feel to be lucky enough to live in a place like this. Having lived in cities like Los Angeles, I’m especially grateful for this connection to Nature and to my neighbors. It feels likKoda and Mee Father Time forgot Montana for the last 50 years- and I’m grateful that he did.

    So it is with a full heart and chilly fingers that I sit by the fire and write this blog to you. I want to share this feeling of connectivity, of friendship, of community, and even of love with you. I wish each and every one of you were here to join us in this celebration of the season. But, in lieu of that, I hope that the photos and the words have somehow touched your heart and that you too can experience this in your own community.

    I know it may seem a bit early but I want to be the first to extend a very happy holiday greetings to you and your loved ones.

    Regardless of what holiday or tradition you celebrate, from our community to yours, may it be filled with joy, laughter, friendship and love.

    Happy Holiday Hugs,


    Gail Lynne Goodwin

    Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter. Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006. Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love. Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

    Recent Releases

    View all posts by Gail Lynne Goodwin.

    1. Victor
      Victor says:

      Wow!…like a Christmas’s Tales, and is not early, is just in time!
      You and Koda looks great (I feel your snoweets 😉



    2. Francie
      Francie says:

      This is beautiful, heartwarming. I follow you on Twitter and your inspirations are a daily boost. Fun to see more of who you are. Thanks so much for sharing your community.

    3. Lucretia
      Lucretia says:

      I am jealous!!

      When you said you had moved to Montana, I wasn’t in a place with enough time to talk to you about it – but I have always thought it would be a desirable place to live if M and I were both definitely working virtually… for now, I must be some place that lets me fly in and out easily – but I read this and I just wishwishwish that some day I can come up and visit for that sort of experience. Or maybe just someday my path will allow me to be a part of such a community.

      Happy Holidays Gail!! We should chat soon… and thank you so much for this post!! 🙂



      • Gail
        Gail says:

        Lucretia, no need to be jealous- come on up! Our little 3 gate airport is an “international” airport that Darryl flies in/out of weekly. It’s easy. Security lines, parking, etc- all a breeze in comparison to Denver. And, no scary big blue horse either. 🙂

        Seriously, come on up. The guest room is yours. Just let me know when. The holiday season is incredible, as are the summer months. You’re welcome anytime!

        Big hugs,

        p.s. the formatting was really screwed up on your post so I fixed it- hopefully I didn’t change anything in the wrong way. If so, let me know. Thanks!


    Links to This Post

    What Do You Think?

    What Do You Think?