Joy to the World: A TOLL-tally Awesome Christmas

After years of driving up and down Oklahoma turnpikes, one thing I frequently look forward to doing is meeting the folks at the tollbooths. After entering and exiting in so many turnpikes, you’ll end up meeting lots of the same faces you once met before. Connecting with people and building relationships is something I’ve always enjoyed. Recently, I had the chance to do that very thing.

With Christmas season in full swing, we end up planning our schedules and getting all of our holiday festivities in order. You’ve gotta love this time of year when folks get into the Christmas Spirit by decorating their homes, offices, and even tollbooths with lights. In fact, I saw a tollbooth that had been decorated with lights and tinsel. It looked great. When I pulled up to pay for the rest of my toll, I complemented the toll taker with how great their booth looked for Christmas. I asked the lady, “Are you excited for Christmas?” She replied enthusiastically, “Oh I cannot wait!” “Me neither!” I said. “Do you have any plans for Christmas Day?” She said, “I sure do. I’ll be manning this booth with a smile on my face, spreading as much joy as I can to every driver who comes my way.” I loved her response and wished her a Merry Christmas.

I drove on thinking, “If I were in her shoes and had to work in a toll booth on Christmas Day, would I be happy about it?” Probably not. In fact, that would honestly not be anywhere close to where I would want to spend my Christmas at. However, I learned a long time ago that attitude is everything. Our attitude shapes our outlook; our outlook impacts our vision, mindset, and behavior. We can have all the holiday decorations, all the Christmas songs on our playlists, every holiday dish imaginable on the table, but if our attitude stinks, so will our whole experience. Although I may not envy the toll-taker’s work schedule this Christmas, I did appreciate her attitude, and the desire she had to spread joy to others.

Here’s a couple questions for you to ponder: “What makes you joyful this holiday season?” Is it the presents under the tree? The delicious food? Having a day off? Or is it the fact that we have already been given the greatest gift ever?

Once you know where your joy comes from, ask yourself one final question: “How can I spread this joy with others?” Maybe it’s volunteering to be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army? Perhaps you take a youth group Christmas Caroling? Connecting with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to?

Or maybe you are simply in a tollbooth with a sincere smile on your face spreading as much joy as you can with those who come your way. Either way, we all have an opportunity to be joyful this Christmas. Attitude is everything. And, in a world of negativity, it would definitely do some good to take some tips from the toll taker this holiday season and spread some Christmas joy. Joy to the World.

#JoyToTheWorld #Attitude #Outlook #Christmas #TOLLtallyAwesomeChristmas

Published by

Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

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