Sunday, 13 December 2009

Not Just For Christmas

I was out and about in central London yesterday and crikey. You forget. London at Christmas is insane. All that jostling and tension. All those angry shoppers and boozed-up Santas.

It reminded me of something I heard recently when I was listening – kind of by accident – to the audiobook of Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People. It apparently formed part of the Christmas advertising of a New York department store, back in the day. You may find it trite, tedious and a little bit sick-making. If so, you may bugger off. I find it rather special, and of course - really - it has nothing to do with Christmas.

The Value of A Smile At Christmas

It costs nothing but creates much.

It enriches those who receive without impoverishing those who give.

It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.

It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature's best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody until it is given away.

And if in the last minute rush of Christmas buying, some of our sales people should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours? For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.

Eh? Eh? You see?

So - it's my birthday tomorrow. And the two-year anniversary of the blog on Tuesday. I was planning to do something pretty spectacular, but you know how it is, the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley. Added to which, there is family stuff afoot. My grandmother is going into hospital on Wednesday to have her arthritic foot sliced and scraped. My mum was going to be there to look after her, but for reasons which shall remain her own, she cannot. So I'm going up there. Not sure how yet. Thinking of something quite radical at the moment. Probably won't come to fruition though. You know how it is. Aft agley.

Anyway, if I don't see you for a while, be good.

32! How novel.

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Anonymous said...

If I ever got flashed by Santa's baubles, I'd laugh my head off, not recoil in horror. Talk of festive cheer! Unless, of course, it happened in a dark alley.

Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

That made me smile. But no-one was here to see it. Still counts though!

Happy birthday! And happy anniversary! And happy Christmas!


Mel said...

That was from me by the way. x

Ian said...

Happy birthday. You often make me smile.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Happy birthday. You might not think it, but you are very young. Ask the you in 5 years whether he thinks the you 5 years ago was young. Indeed, whenever you're tempted to call yourself old, just keep asking that future self. If Future You is dead, he'll still think you're young right now. And alive! Which he'll probably think is a plus.

Come to think of it you never complained of being old, so it was presumptious of me to mention it. Sod all that, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

And hurray for smiles. Smiles are good.

[grins like a Cheshire cat]

Anonymous said...

Your blog always makes me smile. And laugh. And laugh some more. And sometimes cringe. And maybe want to weep. But it always makes me smile.

I give you this

A Twitter friend

misspiggy said...

Have a great birthday despite arthritic foot-minding, and thanks for keeping me fascinated and cheered up for almost two years.


Sharon said...

Laughed when I saw Santa showing off his jingle balls. As one of the persecuted salespeople of the season (but one who truly loves her job) I appreciated the smile. Just as Dale Carnegie predicted.

maurita said...

Happy Birthday! Congrats on the Blog, I don't think you know how much you brighten people's lives just by being you.

Hope you achieve all you wish for.

Amb said...

the santa pic is great
happy barf day.

clumpf said...

Happy Birthday Bete - 32, is that all? You're a wee child.

Hope your granny recovers ok and you're a good grandson going to look after her. My granny is 96 and lives in a lovely home in Ireland.

She has a special cupboard in her room where she keeps her 'goodies' - sweets, biccies etc. Last time I went to see her she showed me where she hid the key - down her bra.

I'm spending christmas in an isolated cottage in Cornwall and can't wait. I shall eat a sprout for you.


Anonymous said...

Bon Anniversaire La Bête,
To you and your blog.
Uncle 'smiling 'Did

Nicky said...

Happy Birthday, enjoy

Aiko said...

Happy Birthday, Anniversary and looking after Gran and her foot.
You create many smiles that aren't seen apart from those reading blog infront people etc but they're still very important. xxx

~~Silk said...

Happpy birthday, and best wishes to you and Gramma. (Gee, I didn't realize you were so young!)

Jake Barnes said...

Your blog has entertained me for quite a while and I've recommended it to more people than I can count; but I've never acknowledged it on here before. So, in the spirit of the season, happy birthday and congrats on reaching the 2-year mark, and with such a well-written blog too.

redsaid said...

Happy birthday! You are older today than you have EVER been before! Oh, sorry... I was supposed to be helping, wasn't I? Ah, well, you know what they say: It's better to be over the hill than buried under it.

Happy birthday to your blog too!

Richard Bartlett said...

A first time poster here -reeled in by the hilarity of your bingo post "Let's Play" and kept interested by the quality of your writing and the size of your archive. Thanks for all the smiles Bete!

Wishing you a happy 32nd birthday and further success with your writing career.

Anonymous said...

I love Clumpf's granny.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday. Thank you for being you. x

TCB said...

I'm not trying to bring you down, but the man in the bottom photo is not smiling.

He's weeping. This is a famous photo of French citizens reacting to Hitler's conquest of France in 1940.

La Bête said...

No, I know. That's the reaction to the creeping fascism of age, you see. Annexing me.