At the airport in Atlanta I saw a group of travelers in elf suits, some in Santa Claus suits and others who were sporting their Hawaiian shirts. Most looked like they were off to a grand adventure but what about the people who work at the airport or for the airlines? The workers who had to leave their family as soon as presents were opened or who may not have even been home yet for Christmas. Would anyone that was traveling remember that our ability to fly rested on the fact that other people were working on such a special day?
My family flew to beautiful and sunny Costa Rica for a mission trip on Christmas Day a couple of weeks ago. As I was packing for the trip I thought about how traveling for a mission trip was a great way to spend Christmas day for our family. We would be reminding our children that Christmas is more than getting gifts. That is has a deeper meaning when you can give to others. Then, I thought about all of the people who were working and away from their family and friends so that we were able to fly on that day (ticket agents, baggage handlers, security, flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, etc.). A few days before we left, I saw on Facebook where an airline traveler had the passengers on a flight, sign a thank you card for the flight crew and I thought it would be great for our mission team to do a similar thing with a Christmas card for the pilots and flight attendants on our airline.
Here at Light N Hope I love to give you ideas that make a large impact on your day for 15 minutes or less of your time. This project will definitely impact your day in a positive way but will also impact the day of those you are giving to as well. While we were at the gate, our team signed 6 thank you cards so that the flight crew would know how much we appreciated them working on Christmas day. I handed the first two cards out as we got on the plane and the response from the flight attendants was amazing! When I told one of the female flight attendants that our team had signed Christmas cards for everyone she got the biggest smile on her face and told me that no one had ever done anything like that before and that she might just cry she was so happy! She sent the rest of the flight attendants back to where I was sitting and I gave the other cards out amidst hugs and thank yous. Other people on the flight told me that the flight attendants kept proudly showing the passengers their Christmas cards.
This entire experience got me thinking about how such a small gesture can make such a positive impact for someone. There are many jobs in service areas where the people who are working to serve others hear a lot of complaints but not a lot of praise for all that they do. This year let’s strive to show appreciation to the people that we come across that help make our flights, store visits, dining out, etc. a positive experience. Many of these workers get many more complaints than praise and a few kind words can change their entire day!