December has rolled around once again. I must say that I enjoy Thanksgiving much more than Christmas. To me it has all of the best qualities of Christmas without the added pressure of finding the perfect gifts and going into debt. I hate shopping. I hate malls. I hate crowds. I hate people who are grumpy because they missed out on buying more “stuff”. What do I love about Christmas? The sparkly lights. The smell of baking. The fireplace. Music and the feeling that I get when I make someone happy: but not the relentless commercialism and the January credit card bill.
Yesterday I was at my favorite home away from home: the Starbucks drive through. I have good karma at this particular Starbucks drive through. This was the one where the car in front of me saw me sobbing in the darkness after seeing BOTFA the first time, grieving the deaths of Thorin, Fili and Kili. I pulled up to the window only to find the car ahead of me had paid for my drink. In fact, I have had a number of drive though “pay-it-forward” events at this particular Starbucks. Last Christmas I was number 36 in a chain of cars paying for the drinks in cars behind them. I didn’t break the chain (it happened three different times!)
I’ve been feeling poorly for the last few days, but yesterday I ventured out for a chai tea latte. Sitting across the parking lot was a young homeless veteran with a sign. I told the barista to charge a peppermint latte to my card and take it out to him. She was brightened up at the idea and said she would take it out herself. Today, there was a different homeless person there. I did the same thing.
The baristas know me now. I’m the lady who buys warm drinks for the homeless. I’m hoping my Starbucks will start doing it on their own. It’s not like they don’t make money hand over fist, and a warm beverage is a small bit of cheer for someone with nothing.
So. Richard Armitage? Here’s your Christmas present from me. A Christmas countdown of acts of kindness.
And, gentle readers, if you feel up to it, join in. Share here, or elsewhere, or keep it between you and the universe, but join in if you can. There is a lot of crap going on in the world that we can do little about, but we can do a little bit to make things better wherever we are now.