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Candy Cane Cabbie Rides Again!!!

A Story Of Hope For Those Who Have Lost The Christmas Spirit…
(A Sappy, But True, Story)

I drive cab for City Taxi.
At this time of year, I take on my seasonal mantle, The Candy Cane Cabbie.
Who am I? What is my name?
That doesn’t matter. (And to my friends, please do not tag me here)
But this isn’t about me. It’s about the Christmas Spirit.
And it’s about how I lost that Spirit, how I found it again, and how others might do the same.

Here’s how it began…
Back in 2013, in a conversation with the dispatcher on duty at that time, I explained that I’d be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
He suggested that I get a Santa Hat and give away candy canes in the cab.
“It’ll be great for tips” he explained.
I thought, “Yeah, it probably would lead to more tips, and bigger ones”.
So off I went to Dollarama in the Southridge Mall.
I bought the hat. I bought several boxes of candy canes.

As I was checking out, the clerk, a young lady of about 16 years, looked miserable.
I asked if she was ready for Christmas. She mumbled something I couldn’t even hear, and looked even sadder.
So I cracked open one of the boxes of candy canes, pulled one out, offered it to her, and said “Have a little Christmas Spirit…..on me.”
Her eyes lit up, and she said “Are you serious?”
“Of course. It’s just a candy cane, Take it, and Merry Christmas”.
Suddenly she was aglow. It was like her whole day had just become MUCH better.
That was when everything changed for me…..

You see, back in 2004, my Mom passed away.
I went through a divorce around the same time.
I have no kids, and that Christmas was a lonely time for me.
I lost The Spirit, and it never did really return.
I took no joy from The Season. Christmas was just another day, only lonelier than most.
I was always welcome at my sister’s for dinner, and a couple friends have always extended the same invitation, but it just wasn’t the same. To me, it never really felt like Christmas…

Back to the day I bought those candy canes….
I walked out of Dollarama with a silly grin, feeling good about having made the clerk’s day a little better.
By the time I got out of that mall, I was into my third box of canes, and had given away over 50 of the silly things.
With each cane, a little joy lit up the faces of those I gave them to, and with each smile, I felt better about myself, and about The Season.
I looked for people who looked unhappy, and a silly piece of candy coming from a stranger seemed to bring a smile to each and every one of them.
Like The Grinch, I felt like my heart “…grew ten sizes….plus two”. LOL

For a kid, Christmas is all about the presents.
But for adults, it should be about giving, about bringing a little happiness to others.

That first Christmas in the cab, I found The Christmas Spirit that I had lost years before.
I found it in the faces of my passengers when I handed them each a candy cane.
I found it in the faces of people in the street when I would pull over, lean out, and hand them a cane, while spouting something silly like “I’m spreading cheer and promoting tooth decay one cane at a time”.
But it’s not limited to my time in the taxi. Anywhere I go, my pockets are stuffed with canes, and I hand them out to anyone and everyone I may meet.
I found The Spirit, alright….
I found it in the faces of shoppers, clerks, people working in stores, people working drive-thrus, people working in restaurants.
I found it in the faces of those poor lost souls “working” on Kathleen St.
I found it downtown on the faces of some of our homeless when I would give them canes.
I found it on the faces of people huddled in the cold outside the Elgin St Mission.
I found it on the faces of police, paramedics, firefighters who didn’t expect to be handed a piece of candy by a total stranger who also thanked them for looking out for us all.
I found it on the faces of snowplow drivers, garbage collectors.
I found the Christmas Spirit in the faces of every person I happened to meet who looked like they weren’t having a good day, and who lit up with a smile when offered a small kindness by an anonymous stranger.

That Christmas, spent in my taxi, was the best Christmas I’ve had in years, and each Christmas since has been equally good, for once again I found The Spirit of Christmas.
I found happiness in bringing a bit of happiness to others.

So, for those of you have have lost The Christmas Spirit, remember, it is to be found in the faces of others….friends or strangers, anyone to whom you can offer a reason to smile, anyone whose day you may be able to improve just by reaching out in kindness.
Put yourself and your feelings aside, and reach out to someone who needs a little cheer, and you just may find that happiness is your reward.

This Christmas, once again I will be in my taxi, happily handing out candy canes to my passengers, but also to anyone I may see out on the street, alone or with friends, walking a dog, shoveling snow, or whatever they may be doing.
This Christmas, once again I shall be promoting tooth decay and spreading cheer one cane at a time.
This Christmas, once again I shall be reveling in The Spirit of Christmas, and finding it in the many faces I am lucky enough to bring a smile to.
Because to me, THAT is what it’s all about.

May all of you find The Christmas Spirit, and the joy of giving that goes along with it.
To all and sundry….Merry Christmas from The Candy Cane Cabbie 🙂

P.S. The dispatcher’s name was Blake Peters, a 40+ year veteran of the taxi industry.
When I told him what giving away those canes had done for me, he just nodded and gave me a knowing smile.
The sly old coot knew all along what his suggestion would do for me.
Blake passed away in the fall of 2014, since which time I have dedicated my Candy Cane Crusade to his memory.
Thanks again for helping me rediscover The Spirit, Blake. We all miss you down here.

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53 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    Bless you and thank you for sharing your Christmas spirit with everyone!!!!

  2. What a lovely true story. Merry Christmas

  3. This is absolutely beautiful!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

  4. Juni Peruz says:

    Nope didn’t work. Still no Christmas spirit

  5. Jen Stone says:

    My hubby who’s a cabbie…gives out candy canes as well…and has experienced the same as you have…
    How much a simple gesture…can change a person’s day/night…
    Happy holidays!!!

  6. That is so inspirational and beautiful

  7. Oh wow!! Best post I’ve seen all year!!!! ☺

  8. Merry Christmas Candy Cane Cabbie⛄️⛄️

  9. You are an amazing candy cane cabbie please have yourself a wonderful Christmas and the best in the New Year! xxx Merry Christmas dear friend!

  10. joannechartrand says:

    This is what Christmas is all about and not just Christmas all year long if the world had more people like this great guy can you imagine what it would be like ..Thank you for doing this especially at this time of year …Merry Christmas

  11. Rej T. Korpi says:

    Thanks for the beautiful story and thanks for sharing it 🙂 Merry Xmas…

  12. Thank you for sharing this story, made me all teary eyed, thank you for what you do, you are a real hero, thanks for sending some Christmas cheer! Also, Blake was a good friend and neighbour, he was the best!! Merry Christmas Candy Cane Cabbie!

  13. Dottie Niemi says:

    Merry Christmas. You are one big hearted person. We need more people like you.

  14. What a beautiful heart this person has, thank you for sharing such a positive story. Best read I’ve ever had on this site.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. Nice way to start my day. Merry Christmas and be safe on the roads

  16. beautiful Merry Christmas to you

  17. I remember this guy from last year, gave my kids each a candy cane in Dollerama. 🙂

  18. May God bless you !!! Awesome testimony !!! So little but so deep !!! I give you my candy cane !!! Thanks for sharing !!!

  19. Beautiful Merry Christmas

  20. Amazing! Well done! ❤

  21. Amazing story. Merry Christmas ☺

  22. Caught me off guard, thank you! I needed this. (Nicholas Provencher ça vaut la peine de lire ❤️)

  23. I remember this guy from last year. I was walking my dog in the middle of the night and freezing my ass off and he pulls over in his cab and handed me a candy cane. He even said he was sorry he had no treat for my dog. He made my night. Merry Christmas, dude. Keep on keepin’ on 🙂

  24. Best story ever maybe I’ll find mine

  25. Lise Godin says:

    WOw, beautifully said, thanks for sharing your story <3

  26. Your awesome. And we need more of you around. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I might bring out some spirit.

  27. Jaime Luck says:

    This is so touching. I’m happy you found your Christmas Spirit and have helped others find theirs.
    RIP Blake, sadly missed but never forgotten.
    Don Houle
    Joann Hanley

  28. One of, if not the best post I’ve read on Spotted!

  29. Keri Rheault says:

    Thank you for making this world just a little bit better, and a little bit sweeter, one candy cane, and one smile at a time!! Merry Christmas Candy Cane Cabbie!! ~HUGS~

  30. This is the kind of stuff that deserves to go viral, and that the world needs to go viral. Thank you.

  31. And now I’m crying in public. Damn mascara isn’t waterproof either.Thank you for sharing this! Absolutely beautiful, best post I’ve seen on here in a while.

  32. ❤️❤️❤️beautiful, Merry Christmas

  33. Seriously. Write a book. I shed a tear. Bless your heart.

  34. I don’t ever read long story’s on here. But this touched my heart. Merry Christmas Cabi thank you for sharing.

  35. Soo beautiful such a wonderful person you are!! I am a regular that always takes city taxi and my boys have got a candy cane from you in past years and it made our day for sure!! Keep on spreading joy!!

  36. City Taxi says:

    Our Candy Cane Cabbie is off tonight, but when I saw this I gave him a ring and told him to check out the response it’s getting. He asked me to pass this on to you all so he can remain anonymous…

    “Wow. I am overwhelmed. I half expected this post to get a lot of negative comments from some of Shoutout’s resident trolls. It is, as I said in the post, a pretty sappy story, but my hope was that some who have lost The Spirit, as I did, could be helped in finding it again. I certainly never expected all these wonderful replies. You folks have put a tear in my eye…a happy tear. Thanks to you all, and I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Christmas.
    Hopefully I run into some of you during The Season. I have over 1,000 canes to give away, and I’m hoping I get the opportunity to give some of them to some of you folks”

    There you have it. Merry Christmas from the Candy Cane Cabbie, and from all of us at City Taxi 🙂

  37. Wow! This is by far the best post I’ve seen on here. Thanks for sharing!

  38. omg…..i cried…thank you…you are SO right

  39. Merry Christmas! Such a simple gesture that gives back so much more! Kudos to you!

  40. xxoo MERRY CHRISTMAS……

  41. Your story put a smile on my face! Thank you for sharing your story and putting smiles on people’s faces! Merry Christmas and all the best to you always….

  42. I normaly dont read the long posts but im glad i did. This was beautiful!! ❤

  43. Nat Rondeau says:

    All. The. Feels! ❤❤❤

  44. This had me in tears..Merry Christmas to you Candy Cane Cabbie…i love this…true christmas spirit right…

  45. You have a gift of storytelling. And also you are fantastic. Merry Christmas, sir!

  46. Wow!…what a great story to share!!…Blake Peters worked for my dad back when it was Barry downe taxi he was a really nice man…

    • Tony Martin says:

      You got that right. I also drive for City, and got to know Blake quite well. He took no crap from anyone, but always had a kind word, and great advice for anyone who wanted it. A fine man. I’m glad I got to know him.

  47. get him 1000 likes

  48. What a beautiful story, thank your for sharing.

  1. December 18, 2016

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