It has just suddenly dawned on me that Christmas is about a week or so away; I guess you really don't think about those things when you're insanely busy with studying and final semester projects as opposed to decorating and buying gifts (admittedly I was lazy this year and will most likely do that when I get back). But now that I'm able to focus on things other then trying not to bomb environmental science, I have randomly begun to think about my favorite Christmas memories from years' past. It's interesting how much one remembers; heck, I'm surprised at how much I remember.
When I was a child I always thought it was getting piles of gifts under the tree or sledding with my siblings and neighbors until our bodies were frostbitten and numb. As I got a little older, it went from that to the craziness of present-shopping for friends and family. Yet at this point in my life, it was something that I didn't realize represents one of the true meanings of Christmas, at least until now.
It was the last day of school before winter break and the teachers had agreed to let us watch "Elf" as a way to kick back and relax. When the movie ended, I saw one of the teachers come in holding a handful of Christmas cards with candy canes taped to them; in other words, the candy grams.
As silly as it sounds, it was a pretty big deal for my twelve year-old self back then. Heck, it seemed like it was for a lot of the girls; receiving them was an even bigger deal. I guess for some, it was either a way to find out if the guy you had a crush actually liked you back or to just flaunt your own popularity. All I knew was that deep down, I desperately wanted one.
A million conversations broke out as the teachers began to pass them around individually. One half of me was trying to pretend that I didn't care about what was going on, and the other half was silently hoping that maybe this time, things would be different. I kept looking around and couldn't help but notice just how many some of my classmates were getting; I kid you not, I think there were certain girls that got seven or perhaps more than that. I continued to do my best at being interested in other people's reactions, but it was getting harder to conceal my disappointment.
However, I was able to snap out of my self pity for a moment to see a teacher hand me a card with a candy cane taped to the back of it. This was for me? Really? I was half-way between surprise and disbelief. It was a red card that had a little puppy dog on the front with a cute saying; when I turned over the back to read it, it only simply said "Merry Christmas" along with my name written at the very top so that whomever made the deliveries would know who it was for.
I couldn't help but wonder who it was from; the joy I had felt very briefly turned to pain at the notion that this just might be a prank. A month or so before that, someone had slipped a note into my math binder claiming that a certain boy was in love with me. Thankfully I was smart enough not to buy into it, but at the time I truly didn't understand why people would waste time pulling crap like that.
My Mother assured me that that was was not the case; while at home over break, I constantly questioned and debated as to who might be the mysterious sender. Suffice to say, I suspected who it might be and didn't find out about it until school resumed in January. Yet, I will not give much indication because I believe that it's not relevant to what this post is about or why I consider it to be so incredibly special. But I will say that he was a good friend, and he still is a good friend now.
It seems silly that I can still recall stuff like this, and even more silly that I made such a big deal about a paper card and an uneaten candy cane. At that time in my life, I was having a really tough time with self-confidence, school and being able to accept myself for exactly who I was. The following months would be the beginning of my silent struggle with depressive thoughts; and for a few weeks or so, that was something that brought a little joy into a particular frustrating season.
My point is that everything you do, both good and bad, will affect someone. The truth is, you really don't know what kind of day he/she may be having or what they could be going through at that moment; and the smallest thing, such as saying hello or smiling can make such a difference. Granted, this probably has been reiterated as well, but Christmas is also the season to give; yet, it's not the only season. That's why I've made it my goal to do something for at least one person each day. It doesn't always happen, but nonetheless, I do what I can.
If you think you can do something to light up someone's eyes...just imagine what you can do to light up someone's life.