I received a surprise Monday morning when pulling into the University Avenue Garage at Syracuse University.
I drove in on the Harrison Street side, and after I swiped my card and the arm lever raised, the female parking lot attendant came over to my car and handed me an envelope. After I parked my Focus I opened the envelope and pulled out a Christmas card.
The front of the card had an image of Santa’s sleigh loaded with a small Christmas tree and blue and green-colored wrapped presents.
The greeting inside read:
“Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year.”
Underneath the greeting the attendant had scribbled a note that read “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Dawn … Parking @ Uag.”
The kind gesture brightened my day. I thought Dawn’s action embodied the Christmas spirit, as she offered me, a passing acquaintance (a stranger really), a gift without expecting anything in return.
I looked up Dawn’s name in the university directory and emailed her later in the day, thanking her for the card. She wrote back that the cards are her “Christmas smiles” and she hands out over 300 of them. She added, “Magic happens when you make someone else smile.”
I agree with that sentiment, and she inspired me to reciprocate the favor. On my way home from work last night I dropped off a Christmas card for Dawn at her UAG booth. She wasn’t working at the time, but I hope she’ll smile when she opens the envelope and feel the same warmth she instilled in me. And I will try to live up to the example of her generosity for the rest of the holiday season.