Christmas magic! It’s my favorite part of the holiday season. Stories about families in need being surprised with groceries and gifts, wedding proposals in front of Christmas trees (thanks Dougie), pets who find their way home on Christmas Eve, George Bailey finding Zuzu’s petals in his pocket after he thought he’d never see them again, the face of a child after receiving the, “I never thought I’d get this,” gift. The list of things that make me weepy this time of year goes on and on. Today, weepy turned downright gushy after watching the “Christmas Miracle” video from WestJet Airlines.
Some people are calling it an “icky” PR stunt, and I hope Santa Claus puts coal in their jaded stockings for saying so. In case you’re not familiar with the story, Canadian airline, WestJet, recently created a surprise event where unsuspecting passengers on two flights were asked by Santa what they wanted for Christmas before boarding the plane. When the flight took off for its destination, WestJet elves dashed out to purchase the requested items. Then they were wrapped, tagged and waiting for passengers in the baggage claim area when they landed. *sniff* So good, right?
Raise your hand if you’re already crying? Note – If your hand is raised, grab your box of Kleenex, frosted sugar cookies and comfy PJs, then come to my house so we can watch a marathon of Christmas movies including Love Actually, The Holiday, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Family Stone because clearly, we are destined to be BFFs.
If your eyes are still dry, watch the video below, you hard-hearted Grinches.
*sniff* I just watched it again with you. *sniff* Give me a minute. Okay, I’m better now. Seriously, how great is that??
Even if it was a publicity stunt, good for you, WestJet! I live in the United States but if I ever decide to visit your cold land, your brand is now at the top of my list. Mission. Accomplished.
I think one of the real reasons the video hit me so hard this morning is because I want to be the magic-maker. I want to uplift, surprise and spread joy to people who least expect it. Instead, the reality of my situation is that our little family can barely afford to pay bills (which we have to do) and eat (which we like to do), much less buy gifts for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, we count our blessings every night when we say grace at dinner. Our thermostat didn’t work last week and right now it’s held on the wall with a wire-tie and instructions from Dougie not to, “make eye contact with it,” but it’s still chugging along, for now. *fingers crossed* Last night my husband said, “Add THAT to the list of things that need to be fixed but we can’t afford to.” It’s a long list. Yet still, we count our blessings. Earlier this week I sent a small gift card to a mother with young children who had to leave a dangerous domestic situation in the middle of the night. It wasn’t much, but I knew they needed it worse than we did.
I applaud individuals and companies who realize how fortunate they are and make an effort to give back, particularly this time of year. And if they get a little PR because of it, so what, the good deed is still done. I hope the video inspires all of us to pay it forward, in whatever way we can. This morning when I got home from taking Katie to school, I had to wait in the street while a trash truck idled in front of my driveway. The thin man on the back of the truck waved at me apologetically with a well-worn gloved hand. It was 14 degrees. I smiled and waved back from my on-its-last-leg, but very warm (blessing counted) mini van. I wanted so much to be the Crazy Christmas lady who flags the trash truck down and gives the two employees bright festive bags filled with working gloves, warm hats and gift cards for their families. This is a trait I received from my mother. If she had the funds, she’s be a Crazy Christmas lady too.
Sometimes around the holidays, I daydream about what it would be like to surprise my parents, siblings and friends with the kind of financial gifts that would make them feel, “hopeful” and “relieved.” I’ve even been writing the cards in my head. The one to my mother would say, “Upstairs neighbors are noisy, let’s go house-hunting.” To my hard-working Daddy, “Retirement is coming, let’s go buy a fishing boat.” To my nieces and nephews: “Here’s a teeny bit for you now, and the rest goes in a college fund.” I might even have Dougie dress up as Santa Claus. He’d be a hot Santa.
Did I mention that WestJet is donating flights to needy passengers if the YouTube views hit 200,000? Now, I hope in the spirit of giving and above all, grace, that WestJet is planning to donate the flights regardless of video views but just in case, please share with your friends.
Meanwhile, this Crazy Christmas lady is off to buy a few stocking caps and grab a couple $5.00 bills from the ATM. Next week, when the trash truck drives by, I’ll be ready. It won’t be the gift I wanted to give, but I bet the gesture will be appreciated all the same. Christmas magic!