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In the holiday spirit

Everyday life brings unexpected opportunities. From the people we meet, to the services we experience, we are affected by the moments around us. In the moment celebrates the little things that we often take for granted, that when noticed, can make the biggest impact.

A gift gone awry: Per usual, I was late in selecting a gift for my husband. But after significant research and careful consideration, I pressed ‘buy’ on a rather expensive piece from one of his favorite online boutique shops. I was elated. I was elated until the shipping notification came later that evening. Instead of being sent to our home address, King Baby was overnighting it to my billing address. In a different city. In a different state. I frantically left a message with customer service, but it was already after-hours, and they were closed. As a follow-up, I sent a half-hearted email. To my delight, Patrick from King Baby not only responded at 12.55a, but was able to reroute the gift with only a day’s delay. Happy wife; happy customer.

A helping hand: The week of Christmas is not the best time to go to the market. The aisles are packed, the customers are stressed, and the staff is harried. Everyone seems to have their head down and focused on the task (or list) at hand. But we needed food, so we had to go. Upon exiting the store, we noticed an elderly woman struggling to get out of a vehicle. A younger woman was fighting to assist her. Before we could react, a well-dressed young man stopped loading his own groceries into a neighboring car and ran over to help. His thirty seconds of time was well-rewarded with their grateful expressions.

No grown-ups allowed: It was the start of our holiday vacation, and our family of four was boarding the plane. At the same time, one of the pilots arrived, noticed my young boys, and said, “Kids are allowed in the cockpit, but not grownups. Do you want to check it out?” Of course. As my husband and I made our way back to our seats, the intercom came on, and the sweet, high-pitched voice of our 7-year-old called out to the almost fully boarded plane, “Mom and Dad, I’m in the cockpit!” Smiles and laughs rippled through the cabin. Thank you, crew of American Airlines flight 2352, for starting the flight—and our vacation—off right. [Monica Norton: @monicanorton]

Sarah Stealey Reed is the editor of Relate. When she's not wandering the world, she's a loud writer of customer experiences, contact centers, and optimistic relationships. Find her on Twitter: @stealeyreed.