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Thank An Elf Today

photoby Malena Lott
(Psi, University of Oklahoma)
 
“Mom, I’m thirsty.”

“Can you resize that ad, like, before noon?”

“Hon, would you pick up my prescription while you’re out today?”

It’s no wonder I love this time of year: I’m obviously an elf disguised as your typical suburban work-at-home mom and wife. Not only does this Giving Season require gift-giving, but a heckuva lot of extra giving of our time.

I may have woken up feeling like the Elf who didn’t get invited to Santa’s ball, but while I was out buying all the things I forgot the first time I got out this morning, I realized the best way to remedy my Elf Blues is to feel gratitude for all the elves in my life. Example: The chipper middle-aged checker at WalMart, who despite having a job where she has to stand all day, sincerely told me to “have a nice day,” when I hadn’t so much as given her a smile beforehand.

Thanking the service people in our lives who keep our lives humming is a great way to turn that frown “upside down” or at least keep the stabby feelings at bay. Even more – we can make them feel better about their jobs and pass it on. Crazy how that works. Using Dale Carnegie’s principal to always call people by name, I started using it on the postal workers, my bank teller and, when I remember, checkers. I’m not sure how Dale figured out this easy way to win people over, but it truly delivers. When you call someone by his or her name, it says they are more than their “duty”; they are a person of value.

Connection happens. Relationships form. Elves unite.

When you come to think of it, we are all here to serve each other. We’re all elves who occasionally get our chance holding the reins and steering the reindeer.

I hope you’ll take a moment and think about all the people in your life who do little tasks and keep our homes, schools, communities and businesses thriving, one answered call, one check-out beep and one opened door at a time. If you call them by name, they may be surprised, but great things will start to happen. If you thank them for their service, you may even find your own service improves. You may even get a little something extra in your stocking this year.

Malena Lott is a brand strategist and author of several novels. Lott’s latest book is Sleigh Ride: A Winter Anthology, called “well-written” and “moving.” A portion of the profits will benefit the domestic violence prevention cause through the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation. Find out more at www.malenalott.com.

One Comment

  1. jennysue |

    Wonderful reminders that we should be THANKFUL and GRACIOUS all the time, even when we are harried.
    With appreciation and WDA to Malena:

    ” … feel gratitude for all the elves in my life”

    “Thanking the service people in our lives who keep our lives humming is a great way to turn that frown “upside down” or at least keep the stabby feelings at bay.”