It was a relatively nice winter day in Minneapolis. I grabbed a notebook and pen and headed for the northwest corner of Lake and Hennepin, one of the busiest intersections in Minneapolis. From there, I proceeded to ask passersby one question…What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
I was happily surprised that nearly everyone I asked, was willing to answer. This is at a time of year when most people are exceptionally busy and in general, many of us do not like to be bothered by strangers. I am thinking that either holiday spirit was emanating from them or there really is such a thing as “Minnesota nice”. There were several people who, upon seeing me, grew the distant, glazed look and kept walking. But then a few feet later, they realized it was just one question, and they turned around and answered. I thought that was so cool!
Here are the results of 200 answers:
- Friends and family 121
- Presents 40
- Food 23
- Time off from work 8
- Lights and decorations 5
- Happy memories 2
- Nothing 1
It is absolutely beautiful how many people said friends and family. It’s an indicator of how important our personal relationships are to us. Imagine if we held this sentiment all year and not just at holiday time. There would be less disharmony and more appreciation. And I dare to guess that people’s relationships would be healthier and more loving.
Of the forty people who said presents, half were children. And half of the adults who chose presents, said they were just kidding. Interesttingly enough though, they did not change their answers!
There was one curioius answer under the food category. A young man said that it was a holiday tradition in his family to make macaroni and cheese with colored marshmallows baked on top. I asked him if that was a Minnesota thing and he said he thought so. His family had been doing it for three generations. The things ya learn!
There was a homeless man at the same corner as me. We took a break and I invited him for coffee. He talked quite openly about his situation and what had happened. And he was one of the two people who said happy memories.
I would loved to have chatted with the woman who said nothing. But she was in an obvious hurry. I felt saddened by her answer and I hope she finds a favorite thing this holiday season.
I would also love to hear what your favorite things are. Feel free to start and enjoy a discussion! Peaceful holidays, everyone!