This week at work was a bear, but I am doing my best to get in the Christmas spirit. We had our office party on Wednesday, and I wore my “new” Christmas sweater that I got at a vintage store in Boulder when we visited our daughter at college.
I also gave my assistants their presents: Godiva chocolates and Starbucks cards.
I like to give gifts that I would like to get, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate and Starbucks!
After my Christmas cookie bake-a-thon, I took a tin of cookies to our 87-year old neighbor. I thought I could just drop off the cookies with a quick “Happy Holidays!” but she started talking and kept going.
I learned that she has lived in her house for over 30 years (we just moved here last summer, so I don’t know her that well yet), and that she was shaken when her long-time “back fence” neighbors moved out to go to a retirement community. She loves her house and wants to be carried out by the undertakers.
I learned that she loves her dog and loves to play fetch in her back yard. I learned that her daughter is a cat person, not a dog person, so if something happens to her, her son will take care of her dog. Her son likes her dog and understands that he likes play.
I learned that she hurt her foot, but doesn’t want to go to the doctor because she doesn’t want to be told that she can’t or shouldn’t do things. At 87 years old, she does most of her own yard work (including mowing the grass) and had just spent the day raking her leaves to the curb for our neighborhood “rake out.” (My husband did the part of her yard that’s next to ours, but she still did many hours of yard work.)
When she finally had told me all that was on her mind, I ran back to my house–we had been standing on her front porch and it had gotten cold quickly. I had a passing thought that next time I will be sure to leave cookies on her doorstep when she is out, but I quickly replaced that with an understanding that this is what the Christmas season is all about.
Sure, it’s nice to give and receive gifts, but what really makes the season special is the time we spend with each other. Whether its family, friends, colleagues, or crazy neighbors, taking a few minutes to find out how someone is doing, to show your concern and let them know you care, will help you catch–and spread–the Christmas spirit.