During the holidays, I notice that strangers are more likely to start up conversations while waiting on line, or wishing each other well in passing. The personal boundaries we usually keep up the rest of the year falls during the holidays, when people are feeling more excited, open and generous.
The other day, I was running errands and feeling a bit stressed. As I walked through the parking lot back to my car, a woman made eye contact with me and said, “I love your hair! Happy Holidays!”
My mind had been swirling with a list of to-dos and how-on-Earth-am-I-going-to-get-this-all-done, but her kind greeting stopped my mental runaway train in its tracks.
I appreciated the compliment about my hair, of course, but more importantly, that she wished me well for the holidays. It brought me back in the moment, a reminder that this is a season for celebrating gifts of love, joy, hope and peace with others. It made me stop and smile.
Go ahead – smile and wish someone well as you pass them on the street, or stand in line with them at the store. Make extra effort to wish a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to security guards, maintenance workers, retail or other service industry people who are working hard and usually get short shrift.
They will be happier and so will you.
Feel free to share your experience or your creative suggestions. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, share using the #24daysofgiving hashtag. Let’s spread some love and good cheer!
Did you miss a day?
Day 1: Give yourself 5 minutes
Day 2: Give someone your attention
Day 3: Give time to a worthy cause
Day 4: Give someone a helping hand
Day 5: Give a cup of coffee or tea
Day 6: Give 3 words of love
Day 7: Give a handwritten note
Day 8: Give hugs
Day 9: Give blessings
#24daysofgiving is an Advent experiment in being called to come into being through the practices of love and compassion, while reflecting on the coming of Christ into the world.
(Image credit: Adam_Phillips)