Happy is an adjective defined as, delighted, pleased, or glad. Most everyone across America would agree that happy is used to describe an emotion or state of mind. But have you ever heard the word happy used to describe a gift. It has been brought to my attention twice this week by friends that this use of the word happy is a “Mississippi thing.”
There are all sorts of gifts in this world. You commonly know Christmas gifts and birthday gifts; but there are also wedding gifts, anniversary gifts, baptism gifts, confirmation gifts, bar mitzvah gifts and so on. Growing up, when my grandmother, mother, aunt, uncle, friend, or next door neighbor would give me a gift just because, it was called a “happy.” A happy is a small gift given on a day that is not a holiday or birthday. This type of gift is given just to make you happy. No other reason is needed for a happy. It could just be a candy bar from the store when you mother returns from shopping.
Has anyone else heard a gift called a “happy”?
Recently, I have been organizing my office at camp. Sara (a.k.a. Rachel Ray) commented that I have a lot of cool stuff in my office. I have a rubber duck collection, mission patches on the wall, a collection of small stuffed animals given to me when I was teaching, and several shot glasses. Most all this stuff was given to my as a happy, something given to me just to make me happy.
To honor those gifts – happies – and to find something to write about other than camp, the barn, or a reflection on why I am a goober, I am going to pick one item from my corkboard to write about over the next few weeks. If it is well received I will move on from there. These posts will probably make for short readings. But I have realized, I have met some really awesome people in my life and this would be a great writing exercise. My hope is these entries will make you happy.