My inspiration for today…
Let me begin my story with a confession…the idea for this act of kindness wasn’t mine. I sent a message out to my friends…”Now accepting ideas for acts of kindness” to help me during my 30 Day Christmas Challenge. I always knew I had creative friends…this proves it. So I need to give a shout out to one of my girlfriends, Michelle…this one’s for you!
The people we forget to thank…
No doubt Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year. Lights sparkling, carols playing on the radio, hot chocolate, trees decorated with years worth of ornaments, time with the ones you love most…what’s not to love? Well, I believe there is an entire group of people who actually DREAD this time of year…hate it. The irony is that they actually play a critical role to everyone else’s holiday happiness, but can easily lose the merry spirit themselves. Who are these people? Retail workers.
Think about it. What’s the worst part of the holidays? For me, it’s shopping. There are crowds everywhere, people literally fighting each other over Black Friday sales, the stress of trying to find the perfect gift. I honestly believe that getting caught up in this craziness is why many people forget what the holidays are supposed to be about. And in the middle of this mess are the retail workers.
They’re on their feet all day, working longer hours, trying to be nice to often less-than-nice shoppers. It’s really a thankless job…and one that can make the holidays season seem horrible.
During college my husband worked at a jewelry store. While he enjoyed the job, starting around October he used to dread the arrival of the Christmas season. Christmas is supposed to bring out the best in people, but what he saw oftentimes was the worst. Also, I should mention that to this day, he still cringes every time he hears “Feliz Navidad” playing…apparently it takes him back to these less than fun days when he heard this song played over and over and over.
Well, today it was time to give back…to surprise a group of my favorite retail workers. So where did I go? Where else but to the same jewelry chain where my husband spent so many holiday seasons. His old supervisor, Carol, still manages the store.
Our plan: throw a surprise party in the jewelry store! We bought tons of cookies, brownies and other baked goods along with a giant tub of hot chocolate.
It was priceless! I brought my 3 year old daughter with me. We found Carol and without hesitation my daughter SCREAMED, “Merry Christmas!!!” The store stopped. Everyone–workers, customers, all turned to look.
I explained that we were here to bring them some unexpected fun–and to thank them for all their hard work.
They. were. speechless.
It was obvious that this had NEVER happened before. The manager was thrilled! She instantly bent down and hugged my little girl. Across the room I heard a woman yell, “I have no idea who you are, but THANK YOU!” The entire room was now filled with smiles…it was filled with holiday cheer.
Later that night Carol sent me and my husband a text saying thank you, still in shock that someone thought of her and her team over Christmas.
Tonight was so much fun. I felt like Santa Claus. Feliz Navidad!