We tell our 4-year-old granddaughter that if she stops believing in Santa Clause that he will stop coming. The intention there is to believe in something that is good and good things will come to us. For instance, if I stop hearing the Christmas bell when it’s jiggled, then Santa will cease to bring me a new portable shop vac or Jaclyn Smith poster.

It’s not a secret that people are more rude and self-centered now. Many times we’re good to even get a ‘thank you’ or a bare minimal cordial nod when we exchange our money to other people for goods or services.Β  We’ve become jaded at the world as a whole. There’s plenty of reason to turn our attitudes in that direction after repeated episodes of human rudeness. Our expectations of life change. I won’t say that I don’t believe in good people anymore but opportunities to witness good people doing good things are more rare for me now than previously.

This past week, I was checking out at Kroger when noticed that I didn’t have my wallet. Now, this isn’t unusual for me. I have lost pieces and parts of 2 sets of earbuds this year alone. I stop at the desk at the gym and say ‘did you find my watch’? and they smile and reply ‘yes, you want the gloves you left with it too’?

After going out to my Jeep and checking to see if I’d left it there, I returned back in and was coming by the customer service desk. A woman behind the desk spoke up and pointed at me.

“Excuse me, what’s your name?’.

‘Mark’, I replied.

‘What’s your last name?’ she replied.


And right there before my eyes, she smiled really big and held up my wallet. I could see the money in the clip was intact and the cards were visible. She had ID’d me from my driver’s license in there.

‘Where did you find it?’ I asked.

‘This man and his wife found it in the parking lot’ as she pointed to a lovely couple who both turned towards me, smiling.

Something about their smiles screamed Christmas at me. I suppose it would have been moving had it been July 4th, but this time of year, in particular, their warm and welcoming smiles instantly filled my cup back up with Belief.

My cup had been low for a while now. I guess as an aging man, a certain amount of that decreasing Belief level is part of the whole hair loss and creaky joints thing. At times lately, I’ve found it quite embarrassing to be a human. We humans can be atrocious and ungrateful creations.

But those two smiles, along with my intact wallet, suddenly made me glad again to be human.

The amount of money in the wallet was valuable to me, yes. But all of that goodness that radiated from this senior couple far outweighed the value in that wallet.

My heart flipped a little like Zuzu’s petals when he told me his name.Β  ‘It’s George’, he very calmly said. Automatically, my mind immediately recalled the goodness of George Bailey.

We had a brief conversation and I left there walking a little bit more confident than when I went in. It appeared that possibly this world, despite political differences, global infections, and rude girls at the Sonic, might just be ok.

This holiday season, let’s all believe again. Let’s turn off the news that constantly infuses our minds with needless negativity and gossipy social media platforms.

And for just this one time a year, believe.

Believe that something good is about to happen.

Believe that somewhere, right now, someone just remembered your smile.

Believe that when you wake up, your hip won’t be as sore as it was.

Believe that a child somewhere is warm and cozy and happily wrapped in a coat that you donated.

Believe that a grandfather will continue to stare into the dark night sky on Christmas eve from his backyard. And the red light that he sees flashing as it crosses the sky, 58 years later from when he was a child, he will continue to believe that is not the light on an airplane.

He continues to believe that the moving red light is indeed Rudolph’s nose slicing thru the night sky delivering toys to children all over the entire world in a very full, very red, and very shiny

Santa’s sleigh.

Merry Christmas 2022!

That’s the best that I can tell about it,