Director of National Humor Month Urges 'Tis the Season to Lighten Up and Give Gifts of Laughter and Humor: Let's Make the Last Friday in November "Funny Friday"

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Psychologist Steve Wilson says laughter lifts spirits, reduces stress, connects us to others, makes happy memories, and has healing effects. We need it now more than ever, so let's devote a day to gifts of laughter.

The master of movie comedy, Charlie Chaplin, said, "A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine." Humor psychologist Steve Wilson says, "Let's bring rays of sunshine to this season by making the last Friday in November 'Funny Friday' --a day to think about, to buy and to give gifts that tickle the funny bones of friends and family."

"Laughter is a kind of medicine for the good it can do," says Wilson, an internationally recognized expert on applied humor and laughter. "What we have here," he asserts, "is something the world needs now more than ever. Because the sound of mirthful laughter is contagious, it is something positive that we can catch from each other!"

"Many people who used to think that laughter was silly or that jokes were immature, have made the surprising discovery that laughter has its own natural, proven health benefits," he says. "Every system of the body functions better when you laugh. Laughter has survival value."

Wilson has built an online catalog of things that laugh or that induce mirthful laughter. "People love to hear the sound of laughing. In the Old Testament, Sarah laughed with joy and named her baby Isaac, the Hebrew word for laughter. Some of the earliest known recordings are of human laughter."

Wilson recalls being a kid whose family spent summers in Atlantic City. One time he redeemed his winning tickets at the Penny Arcade for a battery operated mechanical laugh box that came in an orange drawstring bag. "All summer, we kids on the beach in my neighborhood never tired of playing with it and falling down again and again in peals of laughter."

Out of that experience, Wilson began to collect other mechanical laughing devices along with audio and video recordings of laughter --one DVD is actually called "The Gift of Laughter". Now, we have electronic toys like the ingenious Laffy Laffalot, gadgets like realistic laughing key chains, family laughing games, and even children's books that laugh. His online catalog also lists various 'amusements' like a whirring, light-flashing wizard's wand, Happy Pills, laughing key rings, and books of jokes & funny stories for all ages from 3 months to 103. George Bernard Shaw observed that, "People don’t stop playing because they grow old, they grow old because they stop playing."

It has been said that the halls of heaven ring with the laughter of the saints. "As you make your gift lists for this season and all through the year, be sure to include laughter. Laughter is an appropriate and welcomed gift on almost any occasion," according to WIlson.

"A gift of laughter will be memorable for all the right reasons. Gifts of laughter are permission to let go and have fun, and they make lasting connections." As Victor Borge said, laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

WORLD LAUGHTER TOUR - Think Globally, Laugh Locally
Award-winning psychologist, Steve Wilson, also known as The Joyologist and The Cheerman of the Bored, has spent 30 years specializing in applied and therapeutic humor with a humanitarian mission. As Director of National Humor Month, he intertwines science and ancient wisdom with substance and humor to lead the world to health, happiness and peace through laughter. More than six thousand people have completed his unique training in how to create therapeutic laughter, and tens of thousands more around the world have been uplifted by his talks, classes, books, and articles. He established the World Laughter Tour, Inc., in 1998, to be a rich resource and inspiration for improving productivity, health, and well being in business, healthcare and education. For more information

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