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.