Friday, December 20, 2013

Spreading Holiday Cheer

I stepped out quickly to run some errands this morning; one stop included the post office.  It's normally fairly crowded, and on the Friday before Christmas, just before lunch time, I figured it'd be interesting.  The line was almost to the door, there were three postal workers and a bunch of people in a hurry.  I stood there holding my package, and took it all in...

The frazzled lady at the first clerk's station, was upset that the box she just purchased to ship her goods in, did not come with packing tape; she was even more enraged when the clerk said she could not tape it for her, but she could come back with it all taped up and then mail it.

The second clerk had a lady with a box of, I'd say 100 Christmas cards.  Some were over-sized and so they needed extra stamps.  The customer proceeded to put the stamps on every.single.card.

The third clerk was the man who always (no matter what the conditions) had a smile on his face.  Just as usual, he was smiling away helping an elder lady send her grand-daughter some mail.

The lady behind me in line, had a roll of packing tape.  She bought a bubbled envelope and printed out the address for its recipient.

I noted the packing tape, and glanced back up at clerk one and her impatient and frustrated customer; "I just want to mail this out now, and not have to come back, this is ridiculous!"  And the postal worker's face remained calm, her voice wavered just a little and she repeated that she was sorry, but it needed to be properly taped.

I thought about what I would do, if I had the roll of tape.  Part of me didn't like the way this lady was being rude and impatient, but I don't know her story.  I gave her the benefit of the doubt and knew that if I had tape, I would share it.

I looked to my right and smiled at the lady with the tape, looked down at her tape and looked back up at the clerk.  She muttered something to the man behind her, and then said "Here, I've got some tape for you-- Merry Christmas!!"

I wanted to break out in some carol, just because...but I refrained.  I will admit that "We wish you a Merry Christmas" may have played in my head.

As the scattered and grumpy lady thanked the lady with the tape, and walked off, I thought about the slip of paper I just received as I made a bank deposit.

While the lady with the tape was nice and did a nice deed by sharing it; I hoped that helping the other lady out was a good enough reward.

As I set my package on the scale and the postal worker told me how much I owed etc. I thought that in this crazy busy time of year, not many people probably do a random act of kindness.  So after I paid for my shipping, signed my receipt, I pulled out a Starbucks gift card my husband had won.  I slid it onto the receipt and wished her a Merry Christmas.  She looked at me like I was crazy, and I walked off.  I think she may have said thank you, but I didn't stick around.

No need.  She had many more hurried customers to wait on...

But I do hope she enjoys a small token of "thanks."

Human beings are interesting; we tend to be very much into ourselves and believing our problems are the worst.  I will admit when the lady at the bank handed me that slip I was like, Pssshhh OK. Way to waste some paper. Like I'll find someone random to do something nice for...

A small chain of events, and a few seconds of realizing what this time of year is all about.  Helping others when they need it, and not expecting anything in return.

As you're out and about this weekend, seek out these moments.  Instead of being mad or frustrated {or playing on your phone} be a part of this beautiful thing called life.


  1. Can't even begin to explain how much I LOVE this post. Seriously. So great.

    You are so right that no matter how little our problems are we always think they are the worst. We don't realize that person behind the counter could be having battles of her own. It's not her fault they are busy. I understand people get frustrated. I've been there before. The other day I had to remind myself to smile and breathe. There is no need for people to be so NASTY!

    I still haven't found the "perfect" moment to do our good deed of the season just yet.
    Hoping it comes along soon!

  2. aw i just love you girl! You're one of the sweetest i know! Glad to have you as a friend!

  3. I'm so glad you did that. I guarantee that she was much happier for the rest of the day which is turn made other people happier. She may have even done an act of kindness for someone else. In the spirit of what you did and in hopes of starting a chain reaction of good around here I will be doing an act of kindness tomorrow just because of your story.


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