Shadow, Nancy’s Beloved Golden RetrieverHave you heard that song on the radio about the Christmas shoes? A little boy is in line to buy a pair of shoes for his mom, who might be on her way to heaven tonight. He doesn't have enough money to pay, so the fellow beside him in line steps forward to help him out so he can buy the Christmas shoes. The holiday season is here at last if it's time for that song about the Christmas shoes. It brings me to tears every time.

I bring this up because now is the time that the media looks for heart-warming stories that delight and inspire — and even bring more people to tears or grins. What are you doing this holiday season to make the world better for another? Are your holiday windows providing a glittering gift to window shoppers who dare to venture downtown just in time for Black Friday? Are you giving to charity in a way that inspires? And are you helping animals find new homes? Now is the time to alert the media about photo opportunities, giving opportunities, and other ways people and businesses are contributing to a merry and bright holiday. Doing so could earn you free publicity for your winning ways.

Speaking of which, Alice Cunningham, co-owner of Olympic Hot Tub Company, was honored as a Puget Sound Business Journal Woman of Influence in 2006. Earlier this month, a reunion of honorees was held at a fine local hotel. Alice and fellow honoree Kaycee W. Krysty, president and CEO of Laird Norton Tyee — who is also a tireless advocate and board member for the Humane Society of Seattle/King County — chatted about a variety of things over cocktails.

It turns out that the Humane Society was looking for venues for its Max Mobile to park during the holiday season to make it easy for pets (and the people who love them) to sit for photos with Santa — with proceeds to benefit the local chapter. Alice, whose company is famous for making it easy to take it easy, offered the parking lot for her Issaquah Olympic Hot Tub showroom as a venue to make it easy for pets to smile pretty for the camera. Within a few weeks, all the details were worked out, proving once again that amazing things can happen when you connect with people authentically about things that matter and ask for the help you need.

Shadow, Nancy’s Beloved Golden RetrieverOn December 1 – 2 from 11 – 3 p.m. Puget Sound area pet owners can visit the Issaquah parking lot of Olympic Hot Tub Company and pose for photos with Santa with their beloved pets. If you live in the area and would like to participate, here is the link to the Issaquah showroom. Of course, we'll be alerting the media to the photo opportunity. Since more people in Seattle have pets than children, this event could deliver meaningful contributions to the Humane Society, along with new store visitors for Olympic Hot Tub Company. I hope to see you there with my golden retriever Shadow!