We are now well within the holiday season – Hanukkah is underway, and Christmas is approaching. There may be other holidays going on right now, but I currently only know of those two.

It’s supposed to be a festive time. As one Christmas carol says, we should be filled with “good tidings of comfort and joy.” It’s a time to be happy, cheerful, and filled with a positive spirit.

Unfortunately, this is 2020. A year that seems bound and determined to suck positive feelings right out of us. A lot of us right now look a lot more like the Grinch than Santa.

So, I did a quick search on the internet for stories that could help restore some of that happiness. Stories to demonstrate that there’s still good out there, if we take a moment to find it.

First, let me share a story I came across on CNN’s website. According to the article, a Home Depot employee in Plaistow, New Hampshire found a lost Woody doll in the store’s parking lot.

Woody, you may remember, was the cowboy in Disney’s wildly popular “Toy Story” series of movies. The workers at the store decided to post a picture of the doll on Facebook, hoping to discover its owner.

But before he got his picture out an employee put a little Home Depot apron on him with his name on it, along with a mask because, you know, the pandemic. Sarah Hurberdeau, an employee at the store, admitted that the staff had fun with the doll.

The photos were popular online. One customer decided Woody might be lonely, so they brought him a brand-new Buzz Lightyear doll for company. I’m sure Woody appreciated that.

Eventually, Woody’s owner, a 2-year-old named Desmond, came to claim his beloved toy. As an added bonus, he was given Buzz as well. There’s a real cute picture of Desmond, Hurberdeau, and Woody in the article. It’s a happy ending.

Our next story takes us to an article at www.foxnews.com. It takes place in Idaho, where a couple went to a new restaurant called Pho Le 1. The couple, Michael and Kelly Wolsten, chatted with their waitress. They learned she was a single mom of two children, aged 4 and 5, and was working three jobs to support her family.

She impressed the Wolstens, who decided they wanted to do something special for their server. Michael sent out a call to his Facebook friends, asking them to donate towards the tip he and his wife planned to leave her that night.

Over 100 friends responded. By the time the Wolstens were done, they’d raised about $2,400 for the tip, which they presented to the server at the end of the meal.

The server, who claimed she wasn’t a crier, had tears in her eyes. She was incredibly grateful for the tip – and Michael said that he and his wife felt blessed as well.

There is a lesson in these two holiday tales. It should be remembered that not only is this a festive season, but it is also a season of giving. In both situations, people gave to someone else. And the giver got as much out of it as the receiver.

I’m not here to downplay serious depression. I suffer from it and know it’s a thing. But if you’re just feeling blue because COVID-19 is putting a damper on your holidays? Think of someone you can give to. Pay for a meal at your fast food drive thru. Donate a toy to a group collecting them for kids who won’t have Christmas otherwise. Maybe tip a little extra if you go out to eat.

Read the stories of people who give to others. And go and do likewise.