“Make someone happy.
Make just one someone happy.
And you will be happy too.”
-Jimmy Durante (Make Someone Happy)
I have always loved the lyrics to this song, it embodies the very idea of what it means to give. I think at this time of year many people can easily fall into despair. What with the seasons growing colder, and the nights starting earlier, not to mention the increase of holiday shoppers, and tight budget most of us live on. I know that I fight this melancholy often, but then I remember a time when I was just 8 years old, I believe that would make my brother 6.
We had just moved into a small one bedroom house with my mother and her newest boyfriend, we didn’t have much. The boyfriend of course didn’t have a steady job, the electricity had just been cut off, I was sure that we would not be having a Christmas. I mean, I was already adult enough to know that money was required for everything, and that was just something we did not have. I worried about my brother, he was still young enough to ask about Santa, and presents. We were out playing a couple of days before Christmas, and as we came home sitting on our small porch was a box. I told my brother to go inside and get Mom. When she opened it I will never forget, what was inside that box. I found a small monster truck, a Barbie, two sweaters, and 2 packages of socks. Plus, can goods, and stove top stuffing. Someone had decided that we would be on the receiving end of their kindness. To this day I never knew who left those things on our porch.
And even if I knew that the present under the tree was a Barbie, I was still excited to open it. I guess the reason I am telling you this is because regardless of who the person was, they made two small kids very happy that day. Ones that had grown up far before their days. So when you are out, think about that red kettle outside the store you just visited, drop your change, and when you see a white Toys for Tots box, think about my brother and I. I know that I do, I remember that day every time I see them. It maybe hard during holiday season, but the smallest act of kindness can make such a big difference, to someone you don’t know and to yourself as well. Because when you make someone happy, you can be happy too.