By: Sandy Churchill
“‘Tis the season to be jolly” is one of those cute sayings that instantly reminds one of Christmasy songs and Hallmark movies, but wouldn’t it be nice if every day fit that spirit? Imagine if EVERY day provided a reason to be jolly—brimming with grateful moments, smiles all around, and good deeds both large and small… just because.
People stopping to let you in on a rush-hour-packed street, a welcome smile from a drive-through teller, or a surprise open parking space that boosts your spirits as if you hit the jackpot… It doesn’t take very much to brighten our days and yet we need to notice these little gifts for them to reach maximum impact. What’s more—they can be contagious if we let them lift our spirits enough to want to “pay it forward” with similar good deeds for someone else.
I wonder if more of those moments actually pop into our days than we notice or even recognize for the gifts they are. On a recent Christmas shopping trip with my oldest daughter we shored ourselves up with extra patience for the quest through busy, overstocked aisles and lengthy register lines. We were tired, and the store was hot and stuffy, but were on a mission—and determined to be patient.
The surprises came two-fold. First, when a scratch-and-reveal coupon showed a 15% discount on our order, I joked with the clerk that I was really hoping for a 30% but my lucky little guy (who usually scratches the discount coupons for me) wasn’t here with me that day. She kindly proffered a 20% coupon she had handy at the register and I was thrilled. That was surprise #1.
The clerk continued ringing up our order and was nearly finished when a customer in another line turned around and asked me if I had a 30% coupon. I shook my head no and said “sorry” because I wished I could help her out. Clearly I misunderstood because she handed me one without a word. Wow! I was ecstatic! “Thank you!” I called and was truly touched by her gesture—not simply for the monetary help—which saved us close to $30, but for the random of act of kindness. Her decision to pause and help out a stranger sang of the Christmas spirit above the music of the carols playing throughout the store. She took a few moments to think of someone else—someone she neither knew nor would see again—and I was truly touched. In fact, I am still thinking about it a week later.
So I ask you to consider this holiday season, when the presents are torn open and relatives have gone home, to ponder what “’Tis the season” means to you. Are there random acts of kindness that could truly be part of every day and not saved for the magic of December? I hope so. In fact, “’Tis the season” might just be the makings of a New Year’s resolution for this grateful mom…