Deck the halls with spirit

Dec. 17, 2009, 2:48 p.m. | By Tasnia Habib, Samantha Lint | 14 years, 6 months ago

Chips tries a day (or two) of good deeds

Every year along with shiny new presents and tasty desserts, the holiday season brings the elusive "holiday spirit." Yearlong grinches become angels just for these two months – or at least, that's the hope. But can your entertainment editors live up to these tall expectations?

We took it upon ourselves to test if it's possible to be completely kind and neighborly by completing good deeds throughout one whole day.

Classroom cheer

We decided to start our first day of good will on a Monday. Samantha tried her newfound holiday spirit by handing out compliments to her classmates. They could tell she was up to something. Now, Samantha would describe herself as a caring and angelic person, but somehow her classmates thought her overly perfect behavior was not quite normal. When they figured out that Samantha was bound to do only good deeds for the day (just like the dad in "Liar Liar" had to tell the truth), they began to test her.

"I think you're ugly," "You're bad at being so nice," "Give me a piece of gum," went the taunts. This could have been the breaking point. At only 7:45 a.m., Samantha cringed at the thought that the experiment might have to end. Gum was a lot to ask for. Samantha treasures her gum.

Usually, when people ask her for gum, she gives a long sigh and explains that she has none. But this time, she couldn't say no. Reluctantly she handed out five pieces, but her inner malice won when she found herself smiling at the irony. Moochers could chew her gum, but they would never know a bottle of juice had spilled all over the package a day before, making the piece taste like a horrible mix of spearmint and mango.

Samantha tried to be sweet, but sarcastic comments kept popping up in her head that she struggled to censor. But not saying anything mean proved to be too much. By the end of the period, she had subverted her own rules and passes a mean note to her classmate, about someone's outfit. But really, who would be able to suppress a comment when someone wears plaid and camouflage?

Let's make you happy

Meanwhile, Tasnia was struggling as well, so we figured teamwork was the solution. We decided to work together on our next good deed. We heard that the library was in desperate need of audio book users. We decided to go cheer up the librarians by being some of the first students to borrow an audio-book and they complied. We approached the desk with a request for an audio-book. We could hardly tell that they were excited. Even so, we knew that we had made the librarians' day a bit brighter.

Our next task was to make a random person happier. Samantha cut out a big heart out of red construction paper and inscribed the message, "Just so you know, I think you're beautiful." Cheesy, yes, but we thought it over and realized a note like this would lift our spirits, so why not someone else's?

We inconspicuously slipped the note into a random locker. We may never know if the recipient thought it was a sweet gesture from a stranger or just plain creepy. But our intentions were good, and that's what counts, right?
After a school day filled with good deeds, Tasnia decided to bring her holiday spirit home to her family. Each night at dinner, her parents pose the impossible question: "What did you do today?"

Any other day a quick "nothing" would suffice, but it was time for change and Tasnia decided to include her parents as recipients of her generosity. She decided that this time, she would talk about her day and let her parents into her life. She waited patiently at the dinner table for the question, but it never came. It seemed after years of disappointment, her parents stopped asking how her day went. Instead, she took it upon herself to tell her parents about the happenings of her day. Her mom dropped her fork with surprise and her dad wondered if anything was wrong with Tasnia.

But Tasnia smiled inwardly. She knew once they recovered from their shock her parents would be grateful for the brief glimpse into her life.

Random acts of cheer

The next day we came to school armed with Glade air freshener, holiday decorations and a strong resolve to spread more holiday cheer.

The drab gray walls of Blair definitely needed some sprucing up — the halls needed to be decked, one might even say. We decided that this holiday spirit should come in the form of construction paper cut outs of snowmen, evergreen trees and turkeys. We snuck around the school putting up the decorations under the looming fear that security would come and yell at us for spreading cheer.

Although some of our decorations did not look like what we intended to (one student said out turkey looked like a "shoe with a bone in it"), our creations did make Blair a more of a holiday haven.

We saved the most challenging and selfless act of kindness to our fellow humans for last. We crept toward the doorway, nodded at each other and held our breath as we went in.

As usual the girls' bathroom smelled like a host of freshmen after gym class. We began at the back stall that always smells worst and proceeded to spray lilac scented air freshener around the bathroom. Unfortunately; our productivity ended by stall three when Tasnia decided to use the air freshener as a spray weapon to attack Samantha. Her boots still smell.

When we emerged from the bathroom we thought the worst was over — we had performed a painful yet selfless act and now we were done. But the boys' bathroom door was wide open and taunting us. The problem though, was that we weren't allowed in and we had no interest in going in the boys' bathroom (we did consider disguises but quickly realized that plan could backfire). Instead, in full kindness, Samantha made Tasnia spray into the doorway.
Our days of good deeds left us exhausted but proud of our accomplishments. We were able to overcome our initial aversion to holiday benevolence and now fully embrace it. Don't be surprised if you see us handing out candy on the side of Blair Boulevard or attacking your classroom with a can of air freshener — we're just spreading the holiday spirit.

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Tasnia Habib. Tasnia Habib has nothing else to do but to write for the incredible Entertainment section of Silver Chips. More »

Samantha Lint. Samantha Lint is a managing entertainment editor and member of design team. More »

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