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From the sunny side: Turn up the nice

Yes, I am that person who will begin listening to Christmas music at the beginning of November. In fact, I have even begun watching Christmas movies on TV. The approaching holiday season literally is my favorite time of the year. I say "holiday" season because I know that Thanksgiving is somewhere in there and I know it is a holiday that deserves its attention as well. If there were as many good Thanksgiving songs, I would be listening to those, too.

Aside from the music and movies of the season, there always seems to be something else that I enjoy. That is the opportunity to do a little something "extra" for someone else. Sure, we don't have to wait until a particular time of year to be nice to each other. I try to be as pleasant and nice as I can to everyone, no matter what the calendar says about what day it happens to be. But the holiday season brings with it the opportunity to turn that up a notch. I get a truly warm feeling whenever I put a stuffed animal in the box for Toys for Tots (I even "pose" the animal to make it look like they are looking around outside the box, just for fun), or when I go "shopping" in order to fill a Christmas shoebox. I feel a bit sentimental when I think of a little kid that I may never see or know receiving some goofy little toy that I've donated and having that toy bring a smile to their face. Those are simply a couple of the things I like to do.

I'd like to challenge everyone during this upcoming holiday season to turn up the nice a notch. It can be something really simple. You don't even have to spend any, or much money. Give a stranger a smile and a "hello." Open a door for someone. Offer another person your seat on the bus (if you happen to be going somewhere that has a bus). Give up that prime parking spot near the entrance of the mall for someone else (I know that's a tough one, but give it a try). I won't promise you that you'll get a "warm, fuzzy" feeling; but I'm pretty sure it won't cause a lighting fixture to fall on your head either. So, go ahead and turn up the nice. It won't hurt you, and it just might make you feel good.

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