So in the song, the Twelve Days of Christmas, is it counting December 1st-12th or more of a countdown until the 25th? Just some of the random questions floating around in my head. But that aside, I do declare that Christmas cheer is all around and I completely agree that Christmas in New York is simply the best. We haven’t had any snow yet and surprisingly it was warmer on Thursday (around 60F) than it was in California.
Back to the holidays – I am in love with the lights, the store windows, and even the overplayed holiday music. After work yesterday I decided to run a few errands in the adjoining mall and there was the most beautiful snowflake lights display. I also decided to walk into Williams Sonoma and this wave of happiness rushed over my entire mind and body. Sure it may be strange, but it’s just one of my happy places. The dishes, the colors, the vast potential that such a store holds.
However, I was shocked by one thing or rather person. I was wandering happily through WS, searching out every free sample possible, when I hear this uproar in the back. Some woman had stormed in, grabbing two brownie bites, when the employee said one sample each please. Oh my gosh, the reaction was insane. The woman started yelling claiming the employee was completely rude and should be fired. I would also like to mention that I saw this woman barrel into the store demanding the peppermint bark tray be refilled for her. Some Christmas cheer that is.
“No act of kindness is too small. The gift of kindness may start as a small ripple that over time can turn into a tidal wave affecting the lives of many.”
– Kevin Heath
I managed to keep it cheery and thanked the employee for the samples and continued to wander about. It can take just one person to ruin the mood, but I didn’t want that to happen. So, I headed down to Union Square where they were having the most fabulous Christmas market. I could have easily walked around with my earbuds in, listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas music (or maybe just today’s country) 😉 but wanted to absorb the atmosphere in its entirety.
A good thing too because I managed to strike up two wonderful conversations with shop owners. It started because I was wearing my Hulu sweatshirt and one thing led to another and I was just making friends left and right. Engaging in random conversations is pretty high up on my list of hobbies or maybe you would call it an auxiliary skill.
Something wonderful about the various Christmas markets is the wide variety of goodies one can pick up for the home or better yet, gifts for friends and family. I planned to get in and out without spending anything, but that failed. Looking on the positive side, I managed to finish half my Christmas shopping. #success
I loved that I was supporting some of the smaller businesses and each of my gifts would be far more unique than something purchased in a department store. It’s always fun to purchase something unique to that individual, maybe an inside joke, or something he or she can use every day. I would have a ball if I could get crafty and make gifts for everyone, but sadly that’s not going to happen.
If you don’t have a chance to stop by one of these fabulous markets or shop locally check out these ideas:
- Headbands of Hope – A student at North Carolina State University worked at Make-A-Wish Foundation and saw how girls loved wearing headbands after they lost their hair to chemotherapy. She soon came up with this program and company and sells every type of headband possible.
For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.
- Heifer International – An old favorite – they work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. You decide which livestock you would like to send to families in need along with training of how to raise and use the animals. They share the training and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.
- TOMS – I’m sure you are well familiar with this product. The company has expanded far beyond what could have been imagined. If you don’t end up with a pair of shoes for yourself or loved ones, check out their eyeglasses or even the book about how it all started.