Then there are the Kay Jeweler commercials. Can we all just acknowledge the cleverness of "Every kiss begins with Kay"? Mingle it then with those tear-jerking moments they show in candle-lit or fireside rooms...or, good God, that one with the soldier Skyping his son and wife, and the little boy whipping out the box..."I helped Daddy pick it out for you, Mommy." I'm always caught off guard, too: the perfect viewer. I think I'm just watching a family Skyping. Or a couple waking up on Christmas morning in a lovely mountainside lodge. Or whatever. And suddenly my eyes are misting up and my nose is burning and, worst of all, someone sees me like this. Usually Joe.
It probably goes without saying that I'm an avid fan of Clorox and Lysol commercials. I particularly like when the germs are shown as little monsters with faces, and get brutally wiped out by the strong chemical powers of the cleaning agent. Rock on, poisonous chemicals. Kill those germs.
Do you know the one I feel the most strongly about? The scene that comes on our television and instantly has my heart stopping, or climbing into my throat, or, at times, has Joe leaping up to change the channel or turn the TV off? St. Jude's. And it's not because it makes me cry. It's not because of the gut-wrenching stories some famous person sits and tells calmly to the camera. It's because it really is a worthy cause, and leaves me feeling completely helpless and emotionally drained. I hold my own children a little tighter and say a million extra prayers of thanks that they are healthy. I remind myself that a cold is just a cold, and that in a few days my boys recover and are smiling and strong. How could I NOT want to do everything I could to help the children of St. Jude's?
So at the mall today, when I was Christmas shopping in Gymboree (big sales, if you can get there), I was thrilled to see that with each purchase, they asked customers to consider donating to St. Jude's. My mother, who was with me, and I exchanged a quick murmur about how extremely fortunate we are to have all our children healthy. Then a woman next to us stepped up to pay. "Would you like to donate a dollar to help St. Jude's today?" asked the salesperson behind the counter.
"Hmph!" said the woman. "I'm NOT from around here!"
I was really glad when the salesgirl echoed my thoughts aloud: "Well...that doesn't really matter."
It doesn't. I think that giving out one dollar of the money we seem to have no trouble spending in Gymboree, or in the myriad other stores involved with this pretty great cause, is a really easy way to help people who need it. And they are children who need it.