When a Favor Becomes a Tradition

When I was a senior in college, living in an on-campus apartment, I had the grand idea that I needed a Christmas tree. My dad had a truck, and so I called him up and asked if he would help me transport one to my apartment. He agreed without question, and that simple act of kindness, being willing to go out of his daily routine to do me a favor, turned into a decades long tradition. The next year, after graduating, I was living in San Diego. He called me up and asked, how are you getting your Christmas tree? So this time we decorated together and had dinner afterward, and thus a true tradition was born. Every year, from 2001 to 2020, without fail, my dad would show up and decorate the tree with me. When we started out I was single, then married, then started having kids, and everyone knew that Christmas tree day was with Dad. The fact that he never missed a year made it the one of the best traditions of my life, and exemplified for me the value of consistency and the potential impact of a single, intentional day out of 365 per year. Christmas Tree Day will live in my heart forever, Dad, and it all began with a little kindness.