It was a grey, foggy San Francisco morning. I had just dropped off my eldest daughter at preschool. I was walking home where my husband and youngest daughter were waiting. I was in no rush. My mood was less than cheerful. Nothing was wrong, but I was feeling worn out and tired, wondering how I would make it through the day when I was already so tired. I walked my usual route home and at a familiar corner, I saw something unfamiliar in a stranger's familiar yard that made me smile and cheered me up.
It was Yoda wearing Santa's hat and holding a lightsaber. Now, I'm not even a Star Wars fan, but I am a fan of humor and obviously the stranger who decorated this front yard that I pass by all the time has a sense of humor. So I stopped, took a picture of Yoda, felt some cheer, and forgot that I was tired. Chances are, I'll never meet the stranger responsible for lifting my spirits that day, but that doesn't mean I can't be grateful. How nice of this person to gift me with a little holiday cheer and humor.
I've always been grateful for the countless strangers that take the time to decorate the outside of their homes for the holidays. It's a lot of work and still they do it and I like to think that they do it for me. These strangers have been making my holidays memorable for as long as I can remember.
I will never forget going for drives as a child to the neighborhoods that went all out for the holidays, the neighborhoods that seemed to require that all residents participate in an elaborate outdoor holiday extravaganza. I'm so excited about sharing this tradition with my daughters. I'm hoping they will get just as excited as I still do.
So thank you strangers! Thank you for the lights. Thank you for the blow up snowmen. Thank you for climbing up on your roofs to place reindeers, sleds, and Santas. Thank you for incurring higher utility bills. Thank you for taking the time to share some joy with any and all strangers who are lucky enough to see your efforts. Please don't stop. Your gifts do not go unnoticed, I love them and I know that I am not alone.
Are you one of the strangers that I'm grateful for? Do you decorate the outside of your home for the holidays?