A customer wanted a “wake-up” kind of soap, so I created a peppermint-scented bar with scrubby things in it. Peppermint Scrub is my best-selling soap. You’d think peppermint soap would sell best around the holidays, and it does. But it sells well all year. Mint feels cooling in the summer, and in the winter, it adds to that holiday vibe. It is very invigorating to use—your skin tingles from the mint. Between that and the scrubbies, it really does wake you up. Made on Long Island with organic olive, coconut, and palm oils and organic shea butter.
Madison, Sherie, Olivia and Julianna walked into the Athletic Department office chattering together excitedly about their plans for the following week’s pep rally and bake sale. All four are the officers of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad at Hampton High School under the direction of Ms. Candi Snow, physical education and health teacher.
“Ms. Snow said we could get started on making the signs and posters for the pep rally bake sale here in the office,” said Madison, the President of the squad, to the department administrative assistant, Chloe. The rest of the girls took out their laptops to get started on their designs.
“Sure,” Chloe said, reaching for a set of keys in her drawer to let them into the conference room so they could work on the large wooden table. “She told me to let you in and said she’d be back from her workout in the weight room by 4:00.”
Candi had made a point of reminding Chloe not to leave the students alone in the office before she got there, and if Chloe had to leave, the girls would have to wait for Candi in the hallway. While she trusted that the girls would always do the right thing, rules were rules, and the school did not allow students to be alone in the Athletic Department office without supervision. The girls knew the deal, and they respected Candi’s integrity. She was a veteran who had served for three years in the Marines, and though she was an enthusiastic and fun coach, she had a no-nonsense way of dealing with students who pushed the limits too far. The entire squad wanted nothing more than to maintain her trust and respect, and they went out of their way to do their best, not only on the cheerleading squad but in their classes and their reputation in the school, as well.
Candi’s arrival was like a whirlwind. “HEY!” she shouted, with a bright, white smile for the group. “How’s it going?” she asked as she circled the table checking out their progress.
The girls were working with Candi to raise money for the Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships. They were psyched to be competing against some of the top squads in the country, and as they worked, they bounced ideas off each other about other ways to raise funds. When Candi arrived they were anxious to share their ideas with her.
She listened attentively to their pitches, her bright blue eyes encouraging each girl as they spoke. From going door-to-door to get raffle prizes from local businesses to holding an indoor carnival on a Saturday for local elementary school kids and their parents, the girls outlined their plans and expectations for results.
“Good work, ladies!” Candi said, applauding them, as they set out the timeline for each week’s schedule for activities and donation goals. “But don’t let your schoolwork suffer. That is just as important as all this.”
As the girls packed up their things and headed for the after-school buses, Candi headed to the showers while opening a brand new bar of Peppermint soap. The soothing, sharp scent of the mint brought her back to her own girlhood, and the excitement of all her activities and friendships.
“There’s a reason I was named Candi,” she thought, “and it’s not just because I’m such a sweetie.” And there was a reason that peppermint was her signature scent. Born on Christmas, her parents told her that Santa brought her to them and it was their happiest Christmas ever. Santa told them to name her Candi because she would be as sweet as a candy cane, and as bright as the scent of peppermint. Because of that, she would bring happiness and joy to everyone she met. Candi took that story to heart, and did her best to spread Christmas cheer, not just all year ‘round, but all through her life.
Whenever anyone around her was sad, Candi’s bubbly energy and mile-wide smile was healing and uplifting. When her friends broke up with boyfriends, she always had words of support and inspiration to offer. In the service, she energized others in her platoon with her cries of, “Never give up!” and “Keep going!”
She taught her young protégés to do the same. Their cheers rang out on the football field and basketball court, “This is our Victory! This is our destiny! No one can stop us, you will see!” and Candi knew this was her destiny.
As the water rinsed away the bubbles, she sang a cheer to herself, “I’m a Christmas Baby, Candi Snow. Born to spread cheer wherever I go! I was heaven sent, I have a special scent–I’ll give you a hint, it’s… Peppermint.” With a laugh, she threw on her sweats and sneakers, picked up her gym bag, turned out the lights, and headed home, as cheerful as ever.