Yesterday, Little K and I went to Target (at I-10 & Taylor) for a few items. It was the typical trip until the end. Little K loves to climb on the large red balls that grace the entrance. They are really intended to block cars from barrelling through the front doors. Still, I let Little K climb on one at the end of our trip. That's where Our Christmas Project developed.
As harried people walked in and out of Target, Little K wished them a "Merry Christmas" in a normal voice. No one noticed. It was AMAZING to watch. It's kind of hard to miss a child sitting on the blockade but whatever. As minutes ticked by, Little K got braver. She stood on the ball with Mommy holding her carefully while minding the loaded shopping cart. She now shouted "Merry Christmas!" to each passerby. One man finally stopped and asked me if the little girl was talking to him. When I nodded, he was shocked. "Well, Merry Christmas to you," he studdered.
Little K beamed. With her new found confidence, she began to call out to specific people. "Hey lady with the green shirt. Merry Christmas!" Little K burst. (PaPa Don would be so proud!)
Usually, Little K got a smile in return but some people didn't even notice. Amazing.
We continued for about 20 minutes and laughed at people's responses. We couldn't believe that with only 8 days until Christmas, so few people were not in the Christmas spirit. Why would you be surprised about a child wishing you "Merry Christmas" at this time of year??? And why would you avoid eye contact with a child? It was as if the customers were afraid that Little K was going to ask for something in return. I was awestruck.
We've decided to continue the experiment through Christmas in the name of research... and fun. Check back here for updates. I encourage you to do the same experiment, too. It feels wonderful. Your kids will love it. Who knows? Maybe people will catch the Christmas spirit after all and remember the real reason for the season has nothing to do with crossing off the shopping list. It has everything to do with spreading deep-hearted joy and anticipation.
Merry Christmas to you! Until the next nap time...