“What worn-out shticks are blinding you to the blessings that life is conspiring to give you?”–Rob Brezsny
People magazine sent me out to interview a Kansas City Secret Santa who passes out $100 bills. Twice. It was a hoot and a half to join him, to see the expression on people’s faces when he’d peal a couple hundys off his stack and hand them over.
So in the interest of continuing my long-standing journalism career, here are 20 additional reasons to be of good cheer:
1. A mystery woman walked into a Toys R Us in Bellingham, Massachussetts and paid off the entire store’s layaway balance, allowing strapped parents to pick up Christmas gifts for their kids.
2. Gas prices have dropped below $2 just in time for holiday visits to family.
3. The gorgeous beaches of Cuba have reopened to vacationing Americans.
4. Oakland Raider’s tackle Menelik Watson donated a week of his salary ($37,000) to Ava Urrea, a four-year-old girl who has had 14 heart surgeries.
5. Natalie DuBose, whose Ferguson, Missouri bakery was vandalized last year during protests, received more than $250,000 in donations from total strangers.
6. The curve is bending on new cases of HIV. More people are being treated than becoming infected.
7. Enough said. This note was left on a car in Edmonton, Canada.
8. Gay marriage is now legal in the United States.
9. An Ohio high school student took his 89-year-old great grandmother to prom because she’d never been.
10. A cop in Montreal has been stopping drivers and, instead of passing out tickets, is passing out $100 bills.
11. Global life expectancy has risen by six years since 1990.
12. Nearly 200 countries signed a bill to reduce the use of foreign fossil fuels.
13. A Dallas woman has donated more than 15,0000 house cleanings for people going through chemo.
14. A 12-year-old from San Jose, California, built a Braille printer (it’s called a BRAIGO) out of LEGO Mindstorms (it’s the souped up version) that lowers the going $2000 price to an affordable $350. He even offers open source plans online for free.
15. A police captain in Omaha, Nebraska organized a Valentine’s card campaign for her sergeant who remarked that he’d never received a Valentine’s card as a kid. He got hundreds from people all over the country.
16. A former professional ballet dancer developed a dancing wheelchair so all of us can dance.
17. Michelle Obama has volunteered the last five years to take calls for NORAD’s Santa hotline.
18. A New York City software engineer gave coding lessons to a homeless man. He offered him either $100 or two months of coding lessons. After just three and a half months, his homeless protégé developed Trees for Cars, a smartphone app that helps commuters organize carpools.
19. Scientists dated a bristlecone pine tree in California’s White Mountains as the world’s longest-living organism. It’s more than 5000 years old, older than the pyramids
20. And this video (which I already shared on Facebook)
And remember, my dear friends, this is the holiday season to do more of what you WANT to do and less of what you think you should.
Pam Grout is the author of 17 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released sequel, E-Cubed, 9 More Experiments that Prove Mirth, Magic and Merriment is your Full-time Gig.