Open thread: Say something good

I started this NewsCut “tradition” in 2010 and then promptly forgot to continue it. A lot of good traditions die that way but not this one.

The news is a hard thing. We want to retreat to our respective corners, what with us all being in some tribe or another, and the Internet makes us come out swinging. That’s the way of the world. It’s imprinted on us.

The comments section is open. In the spirit of the season, everybody write something that says something good about someone else.

I’ll be back on Thursday morning.

  • Jane

    So, my sister in law, politics aside, bought a much appreciated hot cup of coffee for a Salvation Army bell ringer, Christmas Eve day.

  • dpsours

    At 5:00 this chilly Christmas morn, the plows were out in North St. Paul. That’s a lot of people working on Christmas so that the townsfolk can be with their families.

  • Thankful

    Thanks to the physical therapist who yesterday helped bring relief to the severe back pain that our mom has been suffering from. Having endured several cortisone shots and doctors’ visits, it was nice for her to get some relief finally.

  • Beth-Ann Bloom

    The wonderful folks at St Stephen’s Services for the Homeless provided services to the some of the folks in our community on Christmas Day. They were joined by the Governor.

  • Al

    This year, at the last minute, I signed up to take an eight-year-old girl for Christmas, sponsored by my church, who wanted a black American Girl doll, or a more affordable version of it–she wanted a doll that looked like her. How hard could it be to find a black doll in a pinch?

    Turns out: It was stupid hard. No retailer in the entire east metro had one. Not Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Penney’s, Sears, Toys R Us, JoAnn, Michael’s… Ugh. It was an exercise in futility. Let’s be honest–as a white girl, I never had this problem. Of course. (Helpful Michael’s employee: “Do you want the Hispanic doll instead?” Me: “…seriously?”)

    So here I am, venting to friends online about not being able to find a doll for this little girl–and how stupid and ignorantly privileged I felt for not even considering this might be difficult–and the friends suggest pooling our money and just getting our girl an actual American Girl doll. Well, duh. I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t think of it.

    And then–people started coming out of the woodwork. One friend chipped in an extra dress for the doll, and a special hairbrush. Another a little parka with mittens and boots. Another with a horse and riding outfits from her own daughter’s doll.

    And so: I had the most awe-inspiring Christmas of my life. Better than my own childhood Christmases. I got to wrap up a beautiful doll with dark skin, dark brown eyes, and textured hair–remembering that when I was eight years old, and I saved up for my American Girl doll that looked just like me and she arrived in the mail, it was like the world stopped and everything was perfect. She was my confidante, my proxy, and my constant companion on imaginary adventures. Dolls can be magical like that–they’re so much more than just dolls.

    We live in an imperfect world, where race and privilege impact our health, our education, our finances. I won’t pretend to think that this doll solves any of those problems, or that we “saved” Christmas for this little girl and aren’t we wonderful people. I do know that every child should see themselves in the toys they play with and the books they read, and understand that they are unique, special, and valued by not just by their families, but also by their friends, neighbors, and communities. And loved unconditionally, of course, by their dolls.

    • Patricia Fair

      My 23 year old daughter and i stopped at a local quasi- fast food restaurant for a quick lunch. She ordered a second entree to take with her when we left. i asked her whether she was planning ahead for dinner. No, it was for the homeless woman that frequents a nearby freeway exit ramp. Turns out it wasn’t the first time, and that when she delivers the meal she stops long enough to a give the woman a hug and have a conversation. As I watched this transpire, while very cognizant of the impatience of the person in the care behind me, I was very proud to be the parent of this lovely, kind, young woman.