Finding the meaning of Christmas

Yesterday I took my 37th trip (of the Christmas season) to Target for "just a few things." When I rounded the corner into the parking lot I immediately noticed more cars than usual -- many more. But I stilled my inner agoraphobe and pressed on. I picked up what I needed and then 23 other things and made my way to the check out.

So. Yeah. They had four lanes open. FOUR. And there were long snaky lines making their way past the aisle in front of the check out area. Using my spidey sense, I tried to ascertain which of the lines would move the fastest -- then I chose another one (because I'm ALWAYS wrong). I waited for about ten minutes. Suddenly the heavens parted and another employee began opening a register. She pointed at the woman behind me and said "I'll take you." I was stunned but remained silent. The lady behind me looked me in the eye and said, "You go first." I squeaked out a thank you and then started throwing my selections onto the counter. As I was leaving the store, I turned to her and said "thank you" once again. She just smiled and said, "Merry Christmas!"

For my family, Christmas is an overtly religious holiday, and we try our darnedest to convey that to the kids. But regardless of your religious persuasion (or non-persuasion), I think the Christmas season a fabulous opportunity to up the kindness game -- to try even harder to become better people. I showed this video to my kids the other day:

I challenged them to give one "gift" everyday. My gift yesterday? When Becca called me from the high school, and said she needed her black flats STAT (for her choir concert that we were attending just 20 minutes after the call), I replied, "No problem," and ran them quickly to the school. (Well, technically, I drove them to the school.)

No reprimand. No sigh of disgust. Just a happy, "Here you are!" 

That's my challenge -- one gift a day. Report back on your progress.

One of my favorite quotes from Dickens' A Christmas Carol embodies this sentiment of doing good:  “'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. 'Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'” --Jacob Marley