Virtual Birthday Celebration


My godmother’s birthday is February 24th. It’s been over 4 years since she passed away, but she’s never far from my mind and heart. 

I’ve written about her before. There are lots of great recipes and stories that came from her kitchen. Barb was an incredibly kind, thoughtful person. She was an excellent role model in how she lived, how she loved, and even how she died. I’m awfully lucky to have had her in my life.

At Barb’s funeral, I mentioned to a group of people that I wouldn’t be able to look at Cadbury eggs without remembering the box of them that Barb sent to me each year. It was a tradition that started when I left for college. In the Spring of my freshman year, she sent a care package full of my favorite Easter candy. Each year, another box of Cadbury eggs would appear in my mailbox, even after I had finished school and moved back to my hometown. We saw each other all the time, but she kept mailing me a box of eggs every Spring because it was our thing.

Well, I learned that EVERYBODY had a “thing” with Barb. She mailed a packet of Kool-Aid in every birthday card to her nieces and nephews. She was constantly on the lookout for our friend Andy’s favorite snack from when we were in high school. She bought specific types of M&M’s for different people who came to her parties. Barb gave special little treats to people all the time. That was her thing.

All of those stories stuck with me after the funeral. A few years later, I wanted to start celebrating her legacy in a concrete way, and I thought that sending treats to people on her birthday would be a neat way to honor her memory. I posted one of her recipes here, and suggested that people take a few moments to spread joy on February 24th.

My treats are pretty simple. I print little cards explaining the gift, then attach them to a few dollars scattered around the candy aisle of our grocery store, a local coffee shop, and our favorite bakery. Last year, I set up a facebook page to encourage our friends and family to participate. A few people who found the treats posted photos on the page and joined the group.

This will be the third year for our little project. I’m happy to see a couple more people join in each year. We’d love to have you join us! Sometime tomorrow, take some time to share a little joy. It can be as simple as a phone call or as elaborate as making a few freezer meals for somebody who is having a rough time. Pay for a stranger’s coffee. Send somebody an encouraging note. Put a bowl of candy on your desk. Anything that might bring a smile or let someone know they are cared for.

I hope you will scatter a bit of kindness tomorrow. And while you’re at it, maybe buy yourself some M&M’s. You absolutely deserve them.

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