Something happened Saturday afternoon. I was tired, my voice was still gone and I just kind of wanted to hang in. But after being in Boston all week I desperately needed groceries or I would have been scrounging the cabinets for food to eat. I grabbed my grocery list, added a few other errands to the list and put on my boots.
It had been snowing all day and our driveway was in need of shoveling (and the streets in my subdivision hadn’t even been plowed), so I prepped a pot of coffee to be ready when I came back in and went out to shovel. There were guys in small plows doing some of the other driveways on my street but I didn’t know if those people paid for that or what the deal was. I finished my driveway, went into the garage and put away the shovel. One of those guys then pulled in and started doing my neighbors driveway (they’re joined) and cleaned up my lackluster shoveling job.
This was the moment that I went from kind of crabby to an almost full-on Grinch mode. These guys had been watching me shovel my driveway (unaware this is something they do as part of the community fee our landlord pays for) and waited until I was done to come over. I used all the constraint I had to not go off on them and ask why they couldn’t have just driven over and said “hey, did you know we do this? Give us a few and someone will be over to do yours too” But no…that didn’t happen.
I came inside feeling defeated and like I wasted my time. I grabbed my to-go mug, filled it with coffee and left for my errands. Once I got out of my subdivision, the streets were fine – crazy with cars, but thankfully not super icy or slick. I stopped for gas and ran inside a couple stores. On my way out of one, there was a group of ladies within feet of the store. It was one of those moments where you can either hold the door by waiting a few seconds or just let the door close behind you. I stood there, held the door and one lady looked at me almost surprised and said “thank you so much!” It might be the smallest, easiest little thing but I started to feel better.
My next stop was to pick up a few items for a Giving Tree donation. I had picked a little girl and boy who both needed long sleeve shirts/sweaters. I walked around the store trying to figure out what to get. The girl was easy, she had no color preference. I picked up a black Nike sweatshirt with pink writing and a black and white striped long sleeve shirt. The boy had some color preferences listed and I was having a hard time finding those things in his size. I found one long sleeve shirt for him there and then hit up another store after for a second.
As I was driving home I found myself thinking about all I had bought. Groceries, gift wrapping supplies, gas for my car, a few pieces for some gifts I was still working on and of course, the gifts for those kids. I had spent more money than I was hoping to yesterday but then it really hit me. I wasn’t feeling Grinch like anymore. I was excited to get home and wrap the gifts for those kids. I was feeling so blessed that the $40 I spent on those kids was going to be so well appreciated, and it was $40 that is a lot harder to come by for their family.
I turned on the Christmas music station on the radio and finished driving home. If that’s not proof of the power of giving, the power of small gestures and the power of the holidays, I’m not sure what is.
Happy Holidays, my friends!