Days 45-50: A-OK
Fri Dec 20 – Wed, Dec 25
Happy New Year!
I won’t start my final kindness blog post by shaming myself… because that would just be tragically ironic! I will start by apologizing to those of you who have been following my journey and have been left hanging in my final 5 days of the Noel Project. I was, as I’m sure many of you were, reveling in the novelty of family fabulousness at Christmas time. My last days of the project were challenging because of course I was operating by the schedules of several out-of-town guests – and not on my own schedule… which made it tricky to plan and/or squeeze those ubiquitous acts of kindness.
I did make a point to at least record a definitive ‘act’ each day except for Friday, Dec 20th, but I kept the heartfulness in my actions in order to buy some extra credit from my readers (pretty please?).
On Saturday, the 21st I purchased marzipan fruit for my mother while we were at rainy excursion in St. Lawrence Market. It was a secret project – because Ashley wanted to bring my mother a hostess gift that same evening- where she and my dad would be hosting a dinner at their condo (a vacation rental). My mother loves marzipan…. And to be honest it’s hard for me to even think of one other person I know who LIKES the stuff. I had been calling pastry and chocolate shoppes around the city for a couple of days – with no avail. Finally, as I was about to give up hope, I saw a candy shoppe in the market while our small group was seated as we snacked on crepes. I purchased 6 fruits and then clandestinely delivered the box to Ashley’s office so she could bring them to dinner and assume the honour of delighting my mother with those nasty candies. (Sorry mom!)
On Sunday, after my sister had safely (and miraculously) arrived at Pearson before the worst of the ice storm the evening prior, I cashed in my volunteer vouchers at the tiff Bell Lightbox for 7 tickets to “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It was the first time in my life I had watched the movie all the way through, and to be honest, every one of us was delighted at our immense enthrallment and enjoyment of the film. I think the only way to watch it was on a big screen, with no interruptions or banter to disrupt the story or the magic of the movie. They just don’t make characters like George Bailey or movies like ‘it’s a Wonderful Life’ the way they used to. It was decidedly the most perfect start to our Christmas holiday.
On Monday, after a day trip to Unionville, Ryan and I handed over the apron strings to Ryan’s brother John and his boyfriend Delano for dinner. Saying the 2 of them love to cook is an understatement, they spent the summer in France, started a recipe book, and run a small canning business back in Halifax. Their short long-term goal is to establish their own catering company. Keep your eyes peeled for Ellingwood on your local farmers’ market shelves. So my act of kindness was to give them the reigns… which produced splendid fruits of their labour! And an end result of: using every clean dish in the house. Instead of scolding them for using so many dishes and dirtying every pan (we don’t have a dishwasher people!) I zipped my lips and quietly put my mother and husband to work alongside me for clean-up duty. I didn’t want to play the nagging wife of the big brother role…. (they have a bossy older sister who likes to play that role for the rest of us!)
On Tuesday, Dec 24, my act of kindness (or in this case – heartfulness) was hosting and cooking a hearty Polish Christmas Eve feast for my family who had traveled from all corners of the continent to spend the holidays here in Toronto. I enlisted my sister to help assemble the candy cane place card holders and Delano to construct the pine and birch centerpiece garland. It was a memorable, cozy evening, and we ate, drank, and spread merry.
On Christmas Day, my sister and I went down to the concierge who was stationed at the condo desk (throughout my family’s stay at their vacation rental) and gave an especially kind clerk a box of native Arizonian prickly pear candies. The woman we gave the candies to was so extremely pleasant and helpful to all of us throughout the week that I knew we couldn’t not thank her for her kindness. She of course received small gifts from residents in the building that likely had much more of a familiarity with her, but she was touched by the gesture from mere visiting strangers. The Christmas spirit in full bloom you might say.