This is a post from last year, when I was still doing Today’s Moment of Happiness Despite The News. This is one of my favorites, from December 9, 2017. You can find this one in the book.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
12/9/17 And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
Christmas shopping today. Ugh. Christmas shopping does not help me to feel any better about Christmas, really. Maybe if I had the benefit of the mall all to myself, it would help. I don’t do well in crowds, especially noisy rowdy crowds. But I don’t like to do all my shopping online either. I like to support local businesses. So I braced myself, girded my loins, and went out.
It took me a half an hour to find a parking spot. A half an hour. That really didn’t start the afternoon well.
Much, much, much later, I stood in line at the Starbucks kiosk. I needed my grande cinnamon dolce latte, with only two pumps, and I needed it right that minute. There were already trips out to the car to drop things off. Things were scratched off on my lists. Michael and Olivia were off doing their own shopping. There was just a little more for me to do. I was tired. I was grumpy. My back hurt. And I was really, really, really sick of the Christmas music that was playing everywhere. If I heard “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” one more time, I was going to have to throw a rock at a Christmas tree. And maybe Santa.
And then, in the slow line at Starbucks, I heard a little voice.
The song playing at the time was Band Aid 30’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The little voice singing along was very young and I turned to trace it. Behind me, there was a little girl, about four years old, hanging on to her mother’s coat and swaying with the music. She wasn’t paying attention to anyone, she was just singing. She wasn’t singing to perform; she wasn’t aware of being watched or listened to. She just SANG. And she knew the words! I wondered at a little one who knew this song from 2014.
Santa was in his throne just across the aisle, but she wasn’t looking at Santa. She wasn’t looking at all the lights and decorations. She didn’t pay a bit of attention to the noise. It was just not there for her. She was blissed out on the music. It was a glorious bubble around her. She swayed and she sang.
So I joined her. Just as the song shifted into its lyric of Feed the world (let them know it’s Christmas time again), Heal the world (let them know it’s Christmas time again). She looked up at me and she beamed. She smiled like she sang. All heart.
So did I.
When we finished the song, she giggled and began to twirl. I nodded at her mother, who looked as tired as I felt before the song, and I said, “You have a beautiful daughter. Merry Christmas.”
Then I covered the tab for her latte and the little singer’s juice box.
Hope and joy can be found in the strangest places. In a Starbucks line, where an impossibly young little girl sings earnestly about feeding and healing the world.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.