Minions and Memories

“The truth is, not everyone can change the entire world, and not everyone needs too. All we can do is give as much love in our lives as possible, treat ourselves kindly, and leave the world a more positive place than we entered it. That is all I can ask of myself, and I try to leave all other expectations of myself behind – the ones of impermanent success that can only bring me dissatisfaction and suffering. Maybe thousands do not know your name, but you have the power to completely change the lives of those around you with love; and that, I’ve learned is far more gratifying and important.” – Avery Rogers

There is a particularly festive part in South St. Louis that takes outdoor Christmas decor to a completely new level. The kids and I have had a tradition of walking through entire neighborhoods each year to more fully admire the yards — at least five distinct areas.

Earlier last week, we decided to continue the tradition. Of course we weren’t disappointed.

But I do believe this year was the first time we’ve ever had the opportunity to speak to a homeowner in any of the neighborhoods, and it’s a conversation that has stuck with me ever since.

One of the first yards along our route was filled with Minions. You literally couldn’t walk to the front door without stepping around an inflatable Minion. Two even clung precariously from the roof. We stopped for a bit to admire, laugh — and then laugh some more. It was darling.

They had every possible variety of Minion.

Elves, a snow person, one-eyed, two-eyed, A Christmas Story (my personal favorite), tacky sweaters: they had it all.

So much love and thoughtfulness was clearly invested in every detail on the property.

Then a gentleman who lived there happened to step out on the porch to talk to us. After we showered him with appreciation, praise and cheers, my daughter-in-law asked him if he had children who loved the Minions or what was the source of inspiration for the theme. We learned that he did not have children, but rather chose the Minions “to make the neighborhood children happy.” (I had failed to notice that a school was across the street.)

After we exchanged Merry Christmases and moved on with our stroll, I couldn’t stop thinking about his answer. He (unclear if he was married or had a partner) had gone out of his way to do something fun, fantastical and family-friendly — totally for the benefit of others. His joy was rooted in providing joy to others.

Leaving the world a more positive place than you found it…changing the lives of others with love…this guy has unlocked the secret to changing things for the better and is exercising it fully. And I want to be so much more like him.

Also, I wouldn’t be me and this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t share the obligatory Finnegan photo from the evening. He was mostly unimpressed with the decorations, lights and merriment, but was thrilled with all of the people who would stop to love on him. But when he took an interest in Mr. Bear here, I was really excited. We took a photo of him posed with his new friend…after which he promptly peed on one of the bear’s feet.

Otherwise, it was an idyllic evening. I’m still so grateful for family, memories…and Minions.

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