I had my first hint* of seasonal cheer last night from the most unexpected place. Lina's Italian Market. You know, right on Centre St and 22nd Ave N? Well I go there on a regular basis to browse and pick up my coffee pods** (and always get a nice Ritter Sport dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts for Chris) and suss out all the yummies that is Lina's. So we go in, I grab my 4 boxes of pods (and choccy for Chris) and since it is close to closing time (I have worked retail too long to be one of those people who linger at closing time. Really. Don't do it. Those people just want to go home after standing around all day. Trust me.) go directly to the till. The lovely girl who always seems to be the one ringing me through does just that. Then after I pay she stops, picks up a little package and says with her sweet accent, "This is for you from Lina. Merry Christmas!" and puts it in our bag. It is a little salt and pepper shaker set with a sugar bowl.***
Now, I know this isn't because I am a special snowflake. They gave them away to everyone I'm sure. The thing that gave me the warm fuzzies was that she stopped and made sure we were thanked and wished us happiness. I know this is a gesture of goodwill to keep us coming back, to thank us for our patronage, but the way it was given was sincere. There was no advertising of "GIFT WITH PURCHASE!"(which is not really a gift) no strings attached to this. Unadvertised. Not designed to get us in the store to buy more stuff. Not shouted from the rooftops to drag attention to the shop and get you in with the promise of *sales and free things* to entice you to spend more than you need to on this consumerist of holidays. I dunno, maybe it was, but its not what I got from it. False goodwill always shines through even the most sincere seeming schemes. I can smell it a mile a way and this sweet girl who at the end of her shift still had no guile about her. It was wonderful. Chris and I were tickled pink I tell you. Lina's will be able to count on us for a long time.
*When Jake was small I was ALL Over the whole happy happy joy joy Xmas thing. I mean to the point of decorating the whole house. As I got older (and so did he) it calmed down. After a few kinda bad Xmas things happened and with the advent of all the craziness starting before Halloween was over, I was over it. Now for reals my perfect day is a nice traditional Jewish Xmas involving Chinese food and a movie. Preferably with zombies/ghouls/monsters/lots of bloody guts and pus. But I did like all the Lord of the Rings ones too. King Kong, not so much. This year.. DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET!! Nice hard R I hope and Johnny Depp. Sigh.
**And after the debacle that was yesterday with NO PODS and only a little bit of stale Starbucks grind (which involved a huge amount of cursing and rummaging for my french press and the resulting tar that emerged but at least it staved off the no coffee headache until Dana came and rescued me and we went and got proper coffee from the Roasterie) I need to make sure I stock up on Cafe Kimbo Pods ALL THE TIME.
***Which I will fill with cinnamon, cocoa and splenda. YAY COFFEE FIXINS'!