Wednesday, November 22, 2006

That's Gratitude!

It's Thanksgiving, so I'm gonna be good! Extra nice.

I see that person with on item in her cart at the checkout counter, and I've got fifteen items--I'm going to let her go before me. She must be in a hurry, the way she's shifting from foot to foot.

But then she doesn't thank me, not even a smile.

Someone in a classy car is tailgating me. Okay, I'll pull over, or at least slow down so he can pass. What do I get? Rude gestures and mouth communications telling me what he thinks of my driving.

Am I that bad? Speed limit isn't cool anymore? Can't smile--he'll think I'm taunting him. Just slow down more, and let him go his way. I'm helping him, and he doesn't know it.

I wait patiently in line at the service desk of a popular department store (even though there's twenty people in the line and only one person working). When I finally am waited on, the clerk makes my day by asking, "What do you want?"

"Well, duh. What do you think? Help." That's what does through my mind. Instead, when I leave, I give her a big smile.

I've got dinner to prepare and it seems like a dozen pre-Thanksgiving telemarketers call. Should I lay the phone on the shelf and let them talk to empty air? Nah. I can hear that desperate, tired air coming through. It won't hurt to prop the phone on my shoulder for a minute or two before I have to tell him no.

But then . . .

I get a thank you card in the mail for something I've done.
Someone smiles when I open the door for them.
A greeter at a store calls out, "Have a great day."
My husband calls to invite me out for supper that evening.
A friend calls to tell me they're thinking and praying for me.
I get a good critique back from a person who saw my efforts.

Sigh. Gratitude. You gotta love it.

Oh-so-good "Gift-giving savvy" hints:

* Photos of friends or family make great presents. Take pictures now, get them reprinted or enlarged, and start looking for frames. (I love pictures: this would be a fav of mine.)

* Don't forget about food gifts. Experiment early, so if a recipe flops, you'll have time for Plan B.

* Some of the most memorable gifts are homemade. (We covered this one awhile back, but it's worth repeating.) Start now if there are hats to crochet, candles to mold, or Christmas pillowcases to stitch.

* Buy a few generic gifts to have on hand. (a coffee mug, scented candle, box of chocolates). Later, when you realize you've overlooked someone, you'll be ready.

* Get a head start. Buy two gifts when you shop for birthdays during the year. Save one for Christmas.

* Don't forget to buy books: doesn't everyone love them? Dad likes war stories. Mom likes poetry ones. Dad likes hunting or financial books. Kids love the adventure ones. Stock up!

There is always time for gratitude and new beginnings. -- J. Robert Moskin


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