It was December of 1991 and I was one stressed out Mom that Christmas season. I had four children, ages 8, 7, 5, and a newborn infant. I remember needing to make a Target run and loading up all four kids in the car, getting them corralled to go in the store, and shopping for the items I needed. My stress must have been showing for sure! As we were shopping and I was telling my children for the umpteenth time that no they could not have a toy, a lady approached me in the aisle.
She was very kind and said, “I remember what it was like to have kids and try to go shopping.” She held out her hand and offered me a small box. “I would like you to have this. Each year I find someone who I think needs a small blessing and I share a Christmas ornament with them. This year I would like to give this to you.” As I stammered my thanks, she quickly left and departed the store. My day, which had been extremely hectic, all of a sudden took on a different trajectory as I thought of her kindness.
Each year as I put that ornament on the tree I think of her kindness and wonder how many other young moms she encouraged through the years.
Frequently we think we need to make these grand, generous gestures to brighten someone’s day, but in actuality we always have the opportunity to share a kind word, give a smile, extend a small courtesy, or even, gift someone with an ornament.
In this season, when so many are focused on the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the gift giving, the parties, and the financial stress, we need to remember what this season should really be about. It should be about remembering Christ, the son of God, who turned his back on the glories of heaven and came to earth in the humble body of a human child. It is a mystery we may never fully understand, but we celebrate it with every Christmas season. It should be about remembering the promises that were fulfilled with his birth, life and death. It should be about remembering the blessing that we need to share with others in our lives.
And during this season, you never know what difference a small kindness can make in someone’s life. I am still grateful for the kindness shown to me on a busy, stress-filled day in 1991. My prayer is that I will remember to be kind to others and make a difference in their life, too.