At Thanksgiving I wrote about it having been a rough year, but I still found reasons to be thankful. Christmas is also going to be difficult for me this year, but I’ve seen a lot of good tidings here and there lately and it’s made me find a little Christmas cheer of my own.
• One bright spot this holiday season has been local contributions to charitable causes. Things are tough all over and everyone is feeling the pinch, but there are still people who give to causes like Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army and local charities like Davison Care and Share, Outreach East and FISH. At the mall recently I came upon a couple of Salvation Army volunteers who were dancing as they rang their bells. I felt compelled to put some change in their container just because of their enthusiasm.
• I had to smile when my son opted to put a couple of his quarters in a Salvation Army can recently instead of spending them in the gumball machines.
• Had to smile when Nancy MacKenzie from Relay for Life stopped in my office recently bearing a plate of Christmas goodies. Thank you Nancy, we enjoyed the treats and thank you for the kind gesture.
• I was laughing as my son went to see Santa Claus at a recent tree lighting ceremony with me and produced a list he’d written out before going to the event. I urged him to be quick, there were other kids waiting but he had a lot to ask Santa for — a LOT.
• My kids recently took part in a great dance production through Sandra Brewer Dance Studio in Davison. The holiday show was a nice mix of music and dance, some of it Christmas oriented. The Christmas songs were great and they had a lot of fun. Coming out of that show made me definitely feel the holiday cheer.
• While I’m mentioning the kids’ dance recital, I have to mention the one man who probably really warmed my heart this Christmas with his cheer and good tidings. Going back and forth to the performances of the recital this past weekend at the University of Michigan- Flint, we got to meet a crossing guard at the college who was probably one of the nicest, most good spirited human beings I have ever met. We never caught his name, but every night going to and from the shows, he was there directing traffic and helping people cross. He always greeted my kids and
I with a smile, words of encouragement and praise for Sam and Lucy and by the third day of the show he was giving my son high-fives and even gave him little plastic piggy bank, which he told him to save his money in so someday he could tell him how to invest it.
The thing about this man was he was out there in the cold, dealing with pedestrian and automobile traffic all night, and he was as happy as could be. He was friendly to everyone and just went out of his way to make us feel welcomed.
You don’t find many people like that these days and in these times. Leaving the theater that last night I actually realized I’d miss seeing him now that the show was over.
If he’s reading, I just want to tell him thanks for being such a great guy. I noticed, my kids noticed and hopefully a lot of other people did. If we could all just be like that, think of how happy we as a society could be.
Hopefully this column will spread a little of my difficult to find Christmas spirit and each and every one of you will have a joyful and wonderful Christmas.