It astounds me when I think about how easy it is to let Christmas joy turn into a case of the ho-hum, holiday grumpies. Really, it all starts with one over-the-top-frustrated person, who then creates a snow-ball affect, which leads to an avalanche of stress.
Trust me, I know.
Case in point, just the other day, my sister and I were in the mall, trying to finish up some last minute shopping. She and I were walking along innocently enough, only to nearly be plowed over by a woman with a face locked on an expression that read something along the lines of ‘move over or I will strangle you’.
I’m not sure what startled me more. Her glaring eyes, locked jaw… or the fire she breathed out of her mouth.
A few minutes later, I was standing in line at the Hallmark store, which (according to their commercials) is all about bringing family together in joyous, holiday spirit. Ha! A woman there was so upset that I walked up to the cash register before her that she stood up against me the entire time I was paying. I kid you not, I could feel her breath on my neck, and one of her Christmas cards dug into my back. (By this point, I was starting to feel an attitude coming on myself, and it took a whole lot of will-power not to whip around and demand her to give me some space). Instead, I decided to annoy her by pretending I didn’t even notice… which I think worked just as affectively.
Awww, Christmas love.
So it was no surprise that I was feeling a little bit agitated on my way to work this morning. It also didn’t help that my doctor’s office called and said that the appointment I’ve been trying to make since June had been cancelled due to my doctor’s case of the flu. AND a truck — who was apparently against happy, yellow cars — decided to ride my bumper halfway to the office.
Blood pressure rising… Rising… Rising…
But then it happened.
I decided that I needed a trip to Dunkin Donuts (in addition to a few extra prayers) to get my day started on the right track. I noticed a car trying to turn into the parking lot, so I held back and waved him ahead, letting him pull into the Dunkie’s drive-through first. What I hadn’t realized was that the driver of that car is an older gentleman I walk into work with almost every day. We always keep our conversations to small talk, but I feel as though we’ve formed a bit of an office friendship throughout the years. He calls me ‘Nicole with the yellow car’. I’ve forgotten his name, so I call him my ‘walk into work buddy’.
Anyway, he quickly let me know that it was him… While waiting for the car in front of him to place an order, he got out of his car, bowed, and waved his thanks, grinning from ear to ear the entire time. He then proceeded through the drive-through and paid for the order of the customer behind him… which was me, of course.
Yeah, there are a lot of grouchies out there during the hectic season that is Christmas. But there are also a few good men – and women – out there to remind us that even just a small kindness during this time can make the world of difference. It definitely made a huge difference in my day.
And I’ve decided that I will return the favor to someone else I come across today.
Because it really does all start with one person.
Today, let that person be you… and let your affect be a positive one.