So for the past week, as I’ve done for the past 15 odd years at Christmastime, I’ve been donning my Santa Hat whenever I leave the house. It’s one way I try to cultivate joy and connection in my little piece of the Universe.
When I went into a nearby store 10 days before Thanksgiving, I was surprised to have the manager, whom I don’t know well, ask me if I would be starting to wear the Hat soon. She was eager to have me begin, saying that it had brightened her day last year whenever I wore the Santa Hat into her shop.
Really? I hadn’t known. I certainly hadn’t expected that she’d remember it and would be seeking a reprise.
Our conversation reinforced for me that although donning the Santa Hat may be a tiny gesture, it is one offered in the hopes of spreading joy and connection. And that such tiny gestures of goodwill can make a difference. Brighten a stranger’s day, for instance. For “…everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” (Ian Mclaren, Plato, Philo of Alexandria)
Like every other year of my Santa adventure, this season has already connected me in moments of delight and surprise with numerous folks whose paths have happened to cross mine. Moments that are fleeting, yet are illuminated with humor, warmth and possibility when the Santa Hat works its magic amidst the daily commute and grocery lines and to-do lists.
Of course, we don’t need Santa Hats and other symbols to cultivate these experiences of expansiveness and joy. But sometimes in the roar of everyday life, we forget about this magic that’s always all around us, within us. The Santa Hat is a reminder.
So, I am wearing mine. And I’ve just found out the store manager has gotten one, too. The more magic the merrier!
“We do the world a disservice
by lining up with its pain.
Emotionally celebrate the good
in lieu of protesting the bad.”~Jack Gilbert