Lawrence Lately

Creating footprints, having an impact


You know that the holiday season has begun the minute you hear the first overplayed, catchy Christmas song on the radio and acknowledge that in about a month’s time, you will despise any tune containing the lyrics “jingle,” “frosty,” or “Santa,” in it.

But whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the idea of talking a little time out of your day to do something nice for others to help make the world a happier place is universal.

The same way one might get into the holiday spirit by counting the number of days before winter break, I count the number of days it has snowed. Watching my feet sink into the freshly fallen snow on my way to my school bus stop, and leaving footprints behind me when there once was none, reminds me that I can make a mark upon the world even in the most subtle of ways. What better time to do that than during the holidays?

Unexpectedly, it snowed for the very first time this season in October. Since then it has snowed three more times, and with each white flake that lands upon the earth, resembling a miniature falling star, I get more and more excited to — cue up archetypal scene — curl up in a blanket with some steaming hot chocolate, spend some quality time with my family, and temporarily part with the dread of doing homework.

Sometimes performing the smallest act of kindness can make a great impact on the lives of those you care about. Whether it is placing your vacationing neighbor’s newspapers on his or her porch, visiting an elderly relative, or saying that extra “I love you,” knowing you have made a difference is the greatest gift of all.

So when the tree branches are frozen stiff with ice and the unrelenting wind whips at you until you are in the arms of shelter, it is nice to remind the ones who you love that warmth does not always have to come from the weather, but instead from our hearts.