Extol: A Corvallis Kind of Holiday Begins Saturday

Have you ever wanted to create a holiday? One Corvallisite has done just that.   

Prompted by a question during a game – “if you could make a holiday how would people celebrate it,” Colleen Jess liked her answer so well, she went ahead and started something.   

“I loved the idea so much, and I hated for it to be just an idea,” she said. “It’s completely possible to make it happen, and I wanted to see it come to life.”  

So, this Saturday – the first Saturday in the month, please welcome Extol!   

With friends and family and a Facebook following taking part, the holiday is set to happen at Willamette Park at 4:00 p.m.  

This new holiday is about those things that make you happy in the world. Something that makes you smile. For Jess, that thing is pennies.  

Her six-year-old Desmond gave Jess nine pennies one day… from his pirate treasure. And why would a then-five-year-old boy be willing to part with treasure?  

“He said that they were kisses for me,” said Jess. “And so, every night when I put him to bed, he always tells me ‘nine kisses,’ and he gives me nine kisses on my cheek.”  

And now, when Jess finds a penny on the ground, she sees it as not just a single cent, but as a kiss on the cheek.   

When choosing a name for her new holiday, Jess decided on Extol because “it’s a word that means uplift.” Because this holiday is about the things that uplift us.    

She explains it best on the Facebook event page: “On this day, you give to the world a message of joy. Gather together a basket full of something that brings you joy, something small and what others may overlook as ordinary. If a flower in your garden reminds you of your grandmother, give people seeds for that flower. If seeing a bluebird evokes feelings of nostalgia for your favorite childhood book, give people a picture of a bluebird. Attach to your gift a description of why it’s special to you. Tell the story of why you find happiness in it, and give that gift to as many people as you can.”  

So grab your basket full of happiness, and empty it with love. You’ll fill it back up with the joy of others that you can bring back home. After all, with the last couple of years we’ve had, don’t we all need a little uplift in our life.  

Extol begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at Willamette Park, located at 1350 SE Goodnight Ave. in South Corvallis. 

By Sally K Lehman 

Do you have a story for The Advocate? Email editor@corvallisadvocate.com