Column: Keep karma in mind for the holidays

Earlier this week I was waiting in line to get my daily caffeine fix at a local coffee shop.

’Tis the season to be jolly. Or is it?

Earlier this week I was waiting in line to get my daily caffeine fix at a local coffee shop. The woman in front of me was on the phone and didn’t bother to hang up while she was ordering from the young girl at the till.

Not only that, she was snippy and rude when she confirmed her order, as if she didn’t have time to ensure her multiple request of non-fat, half-sweet, extra-hot, no-whip coffee was heard correctly by the server.

I know this mustn’t be an unusual situation. In fact, I know from experience working in food service and, more recently, the retail industry, that people can be nasty. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it once or twice myself. Sometimes we’re in a rush, or something else bad has happened that day to put us in a negative state of mind.

But what made me really take notice of this woman’s less-than-appropriate behaviour was the juxtaposition of all things festive around me. Apart from the grumpy woman, everything else was so cheery. The holiday music playing in the background, the Christmas lights shining around the windows.

Right down to the young cashier’s exceptionally polite demeanour dealing with the Coffee Grinch, the warm feeling of the season was all around.

As I walked back to the office I wondered, even with masses of holiday cheer all around for the month of December, does the holiday season make the majority of people jolly? Or has it become a time of year where everyone is at risk of turning various shades of green as they slowly morph into the Grinch?

I have always been a strong believer in the mantra that you get what you give. In recent months, I have seen this among people I am close to, or have been. The people who had a tough few months (or years) were finally rewarded with something fabulous in their lives, while the ones who worked hard to build bad karma, well, let’s just say they got what they deserved.

Whether it’s the pressure of holiday shopping, or the commitments to attend seasonal parties, dinners and get-togethers, this can be an extremely stressful time of year. But it’s also a time when it’s important to be thankful for what you have and considerate of those around you, no matter what the circumstances.

With the new year fast approaching, my friends and I have decided to make a concerted effort to consider our karma. There are plenty of ways to bank the good stuff, including something as simple as giving the server at the coffee shop the respect they deserve.

During the rush of the holiday season I’ve come across plenty of people who are banking good karma by contributing in larger ways to their community.

There’s a huge Secret Santa: Toys for Tots campaign happening on the Saanich Peninsula, and a group of individuals are coming together once again to put on a full Christmas dinner spread in Sidney for those who might otherwise go without.

Peninsula residents have also been dropping off spare change at the News Review office. So far we’ve collected more than $2,000 with our Coins for Kids campaign, the proceeds of which will go to the Toys for Tots program before Christmas.

As I said, not all good deeds have to be monumental. Karma-builders can also be simple.

Next time you’re at the bank, hold the door for someone, or when you exchange glances with a stranger while finishing up your last-minute Christmas shopping, share a quick smile.

Most of all – like the cheery young girl serving the grumpy lady in the coffee shop – remember to not let the Grinches get you down.

– Devon MacKenzie is a reporter for the Peninsula News Review.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney Pier was one of two sites in Sidney as the Netflix series Maid shot in Sidney in late 2020. The show starring Margaret Qualley was one of 38 productions shooting in Greater Victoria. (Bob Orchard/Submitted)
Head of Greater Victoria film commission warns of lost economic opportunity

Kathleen Gilbert said without full funding, region will not be able to attract productions

New population estimates peg the population of Greater Victoria at 408,883 as of July 1, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Population estimates peg Greater Victoria’s population at 408,883

New estimates show regional population grew by 1.35 per cent

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read