True Holiday Spirit Comes in Unexpected Ways


Merry Christmas keyboard Illustrating True Holiday Spirits Comes in Unexpected Ways
The holiday spirit can surprise you in how it can be delivered.


The true spirit of the holidays was never so apparent as it was for me recently when I received a surprise gift of a beautiful calender and pen from Reviva Labs along with an insightful poem from the company’s founder, Mr. Strassler himself, just a week before Christmas. The words that poem he carefully selected and his personal message came just in time to lift my spirits after an upsetting thing happened that accidentally caused me to scald myself with a full cup of hot chocolate just a few days before.

I don’t know how my sleeve got in the way of my cup, but strange things do happen when you least expect it and the hot chocolate fell completely into my lap, scalding me between the legs.  If this happens to you, immediately have someone pour a pitcher of cold water on you first before attempting to strip.  However, I was in shock since my jogging pants absorbed the hot beverage like a sponge and just hurried to peel them off as fast as I could.

The pain was intense because the skin between your legs is rather delicate.  Anyway, I kept splashing my burns with cold water trying to cool the skin down before remembering I had aloe vera gel in the house. Desperate to try anything to ease my suffering quickly, I hurried and squeezed out big globs of it over my wounds.  This really helped reduce some of the initial redness and a bit of the stinging with it while I waited for pain relievers to kick in.

I was in no condition to drive myself to any doctor’s office or emergency room.  Even if I had a way to get there, I couldn’t get dressed and have material near my skin.  What I did land up doing was applying antibiotic ointment with gauze pads and medical tape to my wounds, which developed huge blisters.

I also had to learn to sleep on my back with my legs apart just so they would not touch to cause more pain.

I was unable to wear normal clothes.  Instead, I had to do my work wearing nightgowns as I wrote. Spending all day dressed in soft flannel gowns might be less restricting, but it can be cold in the Winter with all that air up your legs.  I compensated for that with heavy robes so I looked like a green bear with knee socks to keep my calves warmer.

To make it even worse, I had a filling a few days earlier before this happened that needed adjusting since it was causing pain in the muscles, being too high.  I was lucky that my mother wore a larger size so I could borrow her baggy pants so my guy could drive me to the dentist to take care of my problem.

Fortunately for me, my dentist works Saturdays and has a wonderful receptionist that fit me in and didn’t keep me waiting once I arrived in this filled room.  To hold my taped gauze in place, I had an elastic bandage on as well, hoping it would provide more protection against the fabric as I walked.

The elastic bandage was a mistake.  It started to become loose as I walked oddly, trying to keep it up the best I could, wearing huge pants.   I must have looked like a drunken cowboy from the way I swayed back and forth, which was too bad because my mouth also hurt and I needed that filling fixed.   Thankfully, my filling was taken care of and one pain was soon gone so I could rush back home and return to my nightgown.

Trying to write and stay focused when you’re in pain was difficult, especially when you’re wearing nightgowns for over a week and even now as I type this is not fun.

And yet, the thought of the beautiful spirit of Ann from Reviva Labs and Mr. Strassler with that gift cheered me up more than you could possibly know.  Once I thanked them and explained how much it helped me through this hot chocolate ordeal, they went a step further.

A few days later, I received another gift from Reviva Labs.  Mr. Strassler sent me, a virtual stranger, a bottle of their Willard Water Anti-Irritant Gel with hopes to bring me relief.  Can you imagine how much that gift touched me?  If only the world had more such compassionate people in it like Ann and Mr. Strassler and the way they thought of me, it would be a much better place to be than its current sad state.

Their aloe vera gel is discontinued and I hope Mr. Strassler changes his mind about that because it does help burns. Most people probably think they have time to run out and buy something when the unexpected burn happens.  Trust me, this is not always the case and a product like their Willard Water Anti-Irritant Gel should be in everyone’s home because I know my pain would have been so much worse without aloe vera gel.

Whatever your religion, I wish you and your family peace and love with all sincerity that those feelings spread and replace all the hatred that seems to be in our world. Miracles can happen at any time, why not start today with each of us?  Who knows what we could accomplish if we only tried to show each other more compassion and understanding?




  1. Maryann D.
    December 25, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    I am so sorry about your accident and pain. I do know how in an instant an accident can happen. A few years back I thought the temperature in January was above freezing and carelessly walked in my driveway to get the newspaper and in a second slid and landed on my head on the concrete. I made my husband take me to the emergency room and was there for about 6 hours since many other people made the same mistake that day. I ended up ok after all the tests but was in pain for months. I would have appreciated compassion like you did receive from the kind and caring people at Reviva Labs. We should all be a little bit more sympathetic and caring and the world would definitely be a much better place like you said. Even small things can really make someone's day. Wishing you a speedy recovery and Merry Christmas!twinkle at optonline dot net

  2. Mary Balandiat (Nuts 4 Stuff)
    December 25, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    Hi Maryann,Thank you so much for your well wishes and words because they mean a lot to me. I am so glad to hear that you're now all right after what happened to you. Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope it is the best one ever.

  3. Maryann D.
    December 25, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Thank you also Mary. I hope you will be fine and enjoy your holidays too!

  4. Brenda
    December 25, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    I am so sorry that happened to you! It's great that in spite of your circumstances, you're able to find something good. That was a very kind gesture on their part. I hope you heal quickly!

  5. Mary Balandiat (Nuts 4 Stuff)
    December 27, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Hi Brenda,Thanks so much for what you said and those well wishes. I hope that you had a great Christmas and will have a fantastic New Year.

  6. Heather!
    December 28, 2015 / 5:04 am

    What a terrible experience! At least there are a few good takeaways from the whole thing, and renewed faith in human compassion counts for a lot! I have had some similar 'weird' health issues lately, so I have a special kind of sympathy for your pain and predicament. I am glad you found some relief from the pain, and I do hope you're on the mend! The personal touch from Reviva Labs speaks volumes about the integrity of that company and its owners. Good to know. Happy New Year! Please take good care of yourself!

  7. Mary Balandiat (Nuts 4 Stuff)
    December 28, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    Hi Heather,Thanks for your kind words. This Thursday will be three weeks that this happened, but I am on the mend. You're right it's nice to know there are compassionate people in the world such as those at Reviva Labs. I am sorry to hear that you also had some unexpected "weird" health problems, but you never know what each day will bring. I hope that you have good health and let me wish you and your family a Happy New Year with nothing but happiness to replace all that bad stuff.

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