Tis the season for arguments over parking spaces and cheap posessions out of stock that are on sale. Disappointment over not getting that perfect gift. Anxiety over long lines and time shortened days. Economy in recession and job losses everywhere. Will aunt Edna really put a guilt trip on everyone for not calling her during the year? Will mom finally realize dad just wants to put the gifts together at midnight and not shop all day long for them. Bad, bad and more bad. Just 20 minutes ago I had to stop and remind myself what really matters.
Walking into the store in 10 degree weather was a bell ringer probably in his late 50’s. Maybe a volunteer or maybe getting paid a small wage for his efforts. As I got out of the car all I could think of was how cold it was and how I would be in the store in a matter of minutes and warm. Then I passed him.
He genuinely said Merry Christmas. You could tell he was very cold and very tired but he genuinely meant his greeting. Of course he gets the job by saying that greeting convincingly but he did it and more.
I walked through the store with a brisk step and a mission to get in and get out. But walking through I couldn’t help remember how cold that gentleman must be and all in the name of a good cause-drumming up charity for those less fortunate.
So at the cash register I completed my transaction and walked over to the coffee counter. I did not hesitate to buy a coffee for the cold weather outside. $1.38 is what that coffee cost me but it would fend off the cold. Best purchase of the day if you ask me.
But I don’t drink coffee. Every now and again I’ll partake, but not a coffee drinker. As I asked for cream and sugar to go, I made sure they were snug on the top of the lid.
I still don’t drink coffee, but as I handed that $1.38 cup of coffee to that bell ringer as I walked outside, I hoped the two creams and two sugars would help him to make that coffee a little better and greet a few more people with that genuine Merry Christmas.
So you don’t have to save the world all in one swoop or think that one person can’t make a difference. That gentleman made a difference and I was happy to keep that going. For Christmas and beyond good will towards man is not too shabby of an idea.