24
Dec
2009

Be Nice – It’s Christmas

Our Christmas story begins on a cold, soggy morning with the gift of a low-fat coffee. ‘Card machine’s broke darling!’ trills the barista as I try to procure my early morning skinny latte. Ten other grumpy customers begin a chorus of tutting as I scramble for change, when suddenly the man behind me makes a totally foreign gesture.

‘Not to worry, I’ll get that for you,’ he smiles, with no hint of sleaze or irony. He presents a crisp £10 note to the caffeine merchant and breezes back out into the drizzle with his own double-shot Americano and a pocket full of change. I squeaked out a ‘Thanks!’ and found myself smiling as I stirred in my sweetener.

That was a nice thing to do. It wasn’t exactly life saving, or bank breaking, but it was nice.

At Christmas time we’re all so swept up in our various quests for mulled wine ingredients or sexy party outfits or Go Go Hamsters that we barge around in a self-involved blur.

But, as noble residents of our capital city, perhaps we should lead by example and interject a bit of Christmas kindness in-between our day-to-day stresses.

The simplest of things can spread some cheer. Give an exhausted shopper your seat on the bus. Help a young mum get her buggy down the steps. Give a tourist proper instructions on how to get to Selfridges.

If we all just try to be a bit jollier it’ll make London feel more Christmassy than any amount of Paperchase fairy lights or M&S knickers from the adverts.

And if you really want to stay down to earth during the festive season, sign up now to volunteer at a Crisis Christmas Centre at one of the charity’s special locations around the city. A few hours or more of helping the homeless will give you a warm glow money can’t buy.

www.crisis.org.uk

Image by Guy Schmidt courtesy of Flickr

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