I’m feeling pretty accomplished.  I made a list this morning so that I could check things off.  And I’m over halfway finished with it.

The things that I checked off have been on the list in my head for quite some time.  Wrapping presents, finishing up Christmas cards, mailing packages — it took almost all day, but now they’re all checked off my list, and I feel ready for Christmas!

This afternoon I went to the post office.  I knew it was closed, but I just needed to use the little mail-it-yourself kiosk in the corridor.  When I got there, I wasn’t surprised to see a line of several people.  I mailed my Christmas letters, then stood in the line.

Perhaps you’ve noticed something about people around this time of the year.  They aren’t happy.  They’re impatient in traffic, tired of waiting in lines, and sick of the weather.  They’re either coming down with a cold, suffering through a cold, or recuperating from a cold.  I’m sure they don’t intend to be Mr. Scrooge or the Grinch, but they are.

Today at the post office, I was expecting nothing different.  I knew there would be a line, and figured it would be full of grouchy people, angry that the post office was closed and impatient that they had to wait.

Boy, was I wrong.  There were two ladies in front of me, and while they waited they asked me a few questions.  I could mail my package like that? (I was reusing an old Amazon box.)  Were they just going to print their postage and then put it in the big bin?  What about if they were using one of the flat-rate boxes?

I answered their questions, until the lady using the machine started to leave.  Her card wasn’t working, and she had decided to abandon her quest to mail her package.  One of the ladies encouraged her to try again.  She did, reluctantly, apologizing for holding us up.

The card worked.  The woman thanked us profusely for encouraging her to persevere.  She left, wishing us all a Merry Christmas.

Now it was the questioner’s turn.  She began the process, asking questions the whole way.  The woman behind me chimed in, helping her through the process.  Then that lady began asking me questions about the flat-rate boxes.

Everyone was SO NICE.  Everyone in line was talking, sharing stories.  Two women behind me began talking about the snowstorm on the east coast.  As it turns out, they both have cousins that live in D.C., and they swapped stories.

The questioner was getting frazzled because she felt like she was taking too long.  One woman reassured her that she was fine — “We’re all human, honey.”  I’m not sure what she meant by that, but it was nice.

Everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas as we all went on our way.

As I left the post office with the cold rain chilling me to the bone, entering the crazy traffic …  the world was a little merrier.

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