Deb: This season of gifts has started early for us. Our front steps had lost their adhesive cement glue and had fallen forward leaving part of the steps without support. Things were busy and although it was on our list of “calls to make”, we had not yet gotten to it. We came home after a particularly busy day to see our front steps re-plastered and held up with support wood wedges and bricks. Apparently, Otto, the lovely man who did the steps two years ago, had driven through the neighbourhood and seeing the crumbling steps, set out to fix them without charge. When I called him to thank him he said he was just standing by his work and ... Merry Christmas.
Last night I had to go to a party alone as Colin had a gig in Tennessee. I resolved to take a cab and had grossly underestimated the cost upon arrival. I decided that being at this party was worth the cost and let it go. When I was getting ready to leave, two of my dearest friends, Steven and Trish, insisted and I mean INSISTED that they drive me home. Now to really understand the generosity of this gesture you have to know two things. One, they live two blocks from the party, walking distance. And two, I live a forty-minute drive away. But insist they did, so we set off to their home first to see their tree. It is a STUNNING tree and brimming with their family tradition of each family member buying a different mercury glass ornament each year. I got to spend rare precious extra time with them hearing great stories from their lives that I don’t often get to hear. It was sweet on every level.
I received a call from my cousin Anne yesterday saying that she is cooking up a storm for my parents and dropping it down to them and having a visit. My dear friend Sandy called today to say she has frozen bags of homemade soup for Mom and Dad and is on her way to visit today. Sigh.
And finally, the kindness that each hurried, harried shopper shows my Dad as he shuffles along or blocks the aisle of the market or stands in the doorway by mistake. I have experienced nothing but smiling empathic faces, kind words, and thoughtful gestures. In fact, I have been overwhelmed. They have given me, by example a reminder to slow down and value my errands with my Dad, and to not make him feel rushed no matter what I have on my plate. Sometimes we forget how affecting our own acts of kindness can be and, as with my Dad, I have seen their rewards in his grateful thank you at the end of a fun day.
Have any of you received any random acts in the midst of the season that sometimes gets a bad wrap?
See what I did there? :-)
Barbara: Great stories, Deb! And great question.
I think the seasonal event that often gets a bad “wrap”—love that!—is the Christmas party. I admit I worry that I’ll be left in a corner, not knowing anyone, not knowing what to say. You know—the outsider of the cocktail party cliques. On Saturday, my husband and I went to a Christmas party where the only person we knew was the hostess. And, of course, she was going to be busy … being the hostess. But she is so lovely, so we decided to suck up our reticence and go make merry. And lo, everyone at the party was lovely and open and curious and interesting. We had a great time. I think good party etiquette is a lovely random act of Christmas.