When I lived in Boston in my early twenties, my roommate Diane used to come home with little surprise gifts and cards she called “happy day presents.” Without fail if I was down, one would show up on my bed or our glass dining room table. The gifts were never extravagant. But they were always something personal to me like my favorite candy. The presence of my happy day gift would make me smile, even before I opened it up.
Over time, I began to leave happy day presents for her too. I internalized the concept that giving is better than receiving. I discovered you can brighten someone’s mood, express love or create a wave of change with the tiniest object or action.
Eventually, I put my own twist on the tradition by adding surprise activities. Those morphed into mini adventures with our friends like going to get a tattoo or piercing (yes I have both), ride a roller coaster, hold an alligator (yes we did it) or just spend time together on vacation.
As we aged, distance, time and relationships ended the happy day present tradition. That is until the other day when I saw something a “new friend” might like.
He has allowed me to bend his ear on several occasions. He also donned a crazy holiday hat so I wouldn’t be the only one wearing one at work. Those gestures made my days happier.
So, I bought the gift for my friend. I hope it helps him have a happy day. And, perhaps he will carry on the happy day present tradition with people in his life.
Read Days 1-45: https://nikabeamon.com
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