It has been a little over a year now, but I remember it like it was yesterday. In stark contrast to my normally graceful self, I had a brief flash of clumsy. The result? Gassy Bear was smashed to pieces.
It was with much dismayed that I shared the loss with the world.
Now I am sure some of you are not well-acquainted with Gassy Bear, as he was one of the lesser known Christmas customs. But in his short life his legend had grown to near-epic proportion among tens of people.
And then I destroyed him.
Unable to dispose of his broken body, I put the pieces in a bowl and kept it on the kitchen desk, behind the computer. I hoped that, one day, technology would reach the point where he might be brought back – better, stronger, faster.
But it was not meant to be, and it is all on me. I forgot about him. Sure, someone would ask and obtuse question like, “Can we throw this away?”
My answer was always the same. “Do you know what you are asking? Of course not! One day…”
And then I would trail off, returning my attention to dinner, or Facebook – but never at the same time. That would be rude.
It was nine months later that something finally changed. Something I never expected: An elf, from the North Land of Snow, Ice and Temperature Inversions, came to stay with us for a brief time.
(For the record, the “elf” was our friend Monique, and the “North Land of Snow, Ice and Temperature Inversions” is Draper – but I find those descriptions to be right on the money.)
It turns out that one day, when I was not paying attention, the elf braved the Hordes of Walmart, purchased glue, came back to my house, and reassembled the broken pieces of Gassy Bear’s body.
Of course, I didn’t notice. Initially.
With some prodding I did see what she had done for us: Sitting on the counter before me was Gassy Bear himself. Sure, a couple fragments were missing, and some cracks still showed, but he was back, still tilted, and prepared once again to watch over our home at Christmastime.
I thanked the elf profusely, and now, a few month’s later, I am sharing the joy of this experience with you. You are most welcome.
Now I suppose that some of you are reading this and wondering, “Wait a second here. This is supposed to be an inspirational, testimony-building Sabbath Day post from the former MMM. What is going on?”
I’ll tell you. There is a message in this, and it is this:
Do nice things for people. ‘Tis the Season. ‘Tis always the season.
Don’t wait for them to point out what they need, be observant and figure it out your self, and then just do it! (Or as President Kimball would say, “Do it! Do it now!” Or, as Nike would say, “Just Do It.”)
This tiny little piece of advice its the spark of charity. If we actively look for ways to better the lives of those around us – even in the tiniest of ways, we can strengthen and mend relationships. We can bring smiles and joy to people’s lives. We can express our gratitude to God by our actions towards others.
And strangers will like it too. There are opportunities everywhere this time of year to reach out as much as we can or desire.
Do nice stuff.
It will help us in our marriages, in our families, with our coworkers and friends, and with those we minister to. Even complete strangers. Sure, not everyone is in such obvious need of help as those with broken Christmas decorations, but everybody has needs. – no matter how well ensconced.
Watch, listen, learn – then let’s roll up our sleeves and do something.