Lenawee Smiles: Compliments and thank yous make great gifts

Susan Keezer
Susan Keezer

It may be likely that I am the only one in my ZIP code who remembers Fred Waring and his gang singing and playing “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Waring’s waltz arrangement is as smooth as eggnog. The music urges everyone to balance a bubble-driven drink on one hand while the other is attached to an arm around the waist of his partner.

Last year, a friend sent me a link to the same poem recited by Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and recorded on a 45 RPM in the early ’70s. Satchmo’s rendition is clearly read by a musician. It has a certain unmistakeable rhythm, and throughout you can hear his signature chuckle.

What would the season be without hearing Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas”?

I’ve already watched the movie by the same name twice. Its predecessor, “Holiday Inn,” in which that song originally was sung is still a favorite in black and white. Fred Astaire taps his way through that one. “The Bishop’s Wife” with David Niven and Cary Grant has been on television for a month or so. I imagine I’ll watch it a couple of times before the end of the year. Niven’s straight man is perfect. Grant’s gazing at Loretta Young … well, I’d like someone to look at me like that.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed is filled with love, despair and redemption.

These old songs and movies that are free of bad language and actions entertain me during the last six weeks or so before Christmas.

Gift bags, wrapping paper and ribbon take over the whole house. Somehow, I always forget that I have enough of this to get through several holidays without buying more. Each year, I add to the inventory.

I start shopping months before Christmas. If I see something I think someone would like, I grab it.

Now. I might stash said item in a hiding place, forget it and it shows up 1. after I’ve purchased far too many additional things for that person or 2. it appears four months after Christmas and after the person’s birthday. And, of course, by that time it cannot be returned.

Speaking of returns, here is a feel-good story.

I bought a blouse from Amazon several weeks ago. When it arrived, it didn’t fit so I put it back into the Amazon bag and headed for Kohl’s to return it.

The clerk asked where the printout was that I should have taken care of before I got to Kohl’s. I had totally forgotten that small part of the transaction.

Could I recall my Amazon password? No.

She patiently used my phone to reset the password, went through the whole process needed for the refund. She (not I) took care of everything. Amazon stated I would see a refund of $22 but it did not want the blouse returned. It seems it was more bother than what it was worth for them to get it back to restock it.

I said to her co-worker, “Do you know what a wonderful person your co-worker is? She has spent all this time helping me out with this mess.”

“Yes, I do know, and it’s her birthday.”

“Really? Happy birthday!”

I looked at her more closely and asked, “Would you like a blouse for your birthday?”

It was a win-win.

I know I sound like a broken record, but Adrian is full of people like this woman at Kohl’s. They are just naturally kind and helpful. I see it daily. It doesn’t take too much to offer a helping hand or to say, “Well done,” to someone who’s new on the job.

People need to hear “thank you.” It takes about two seconds to express thanks.

It doesn’t deplete your word bank at all.

During this season of warmth and giving, look around, my friends. I am sure that within your homes, churches, stores, schools, neighborhoods, post offices and gas stations, there are a lot of people to whom you could express your gratitude. Go ahead, make someone’s day.

Personally, I am grateful for my wonderful family. They bring joy to me every day. I am also grateful for my amazing church family at First Presbyterian who have embraced me.

Have a blessed Christmas or whatever blessed season you enjoy and slide gently into 2023!

Susan Keezer lives in Adrian. Send your good news to her at lenaweesmiles@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Telegram: Susan Keezer: Compliments and thank yous make great gifts