Happy new year! I hope you have had many great moments in 2018, enjoying loved ones, experiencing happy times, and have had good health. We none of us know what the new year will bring, but I always look forward to an opportunity to set new goals.
This past month, I’ve spent some time writing about the Christmas spirit. I’ve thought a lot about it, in part because this spirit is one of the reasons that Christmas is my favorite season. It’s a time when people can be nice to each other and do nice things for one another and no one suspects their motives. I’ve often lamented that we need to keep that spirit alive and on display all year long.
In the past week, I’ve had two amazing encounters, just by chance, that have affirmed my belief in the Christmas spirit. The first one was at the local used bookstore in Troy. I help out my friend Sue in the store on a semi-regular basis and we’ve seen a lot of great things happen with people, but last week’s was precious. A young man wanted to buy comic books with a credit card. The total amount he was purchasing was just under the requirement needed to make a charged purchase. He debated and it was clear he wanted the comic books, but didn’t want to increase his purchase amount. He was just about to put the books back when a woman came up from the back of the store with her items and paid for his books, too. It was a special moment for everyone present.
The next day, I was working at the gift shop operated by Hospice of Miami County. It’s one of my favorite volunteer activities. I’ve met some special people and heard amazing stories of courage, faith, and hope. I have a dear friend that stops in almost every time I’m working (and usually purchases something, too). She had fallen in love with a holiday apron that was a little expensive. Each week, she’d come in and look at the apron and wish it cost a little less.
She was there that day along with a couple of other customers. She made her usual remarks about the very cool apron, and after a little bit, she left. One of the other customers came up to me and asked if I knew her. I replied, “Yes, she’s a very good friend.” It turned out the customer had heard my friend’s comments and wanted to buy her the apron, anonymously. She just wanted to do a good deed for Christmas.
We worked out a plan and I delivered the apron, explaining to my gob-smacked friend that it was an anonymously-provided Christmas treasure. She was thrilled, of course. My heart was filled with absolute wonder, too, and I suspect that very generous customer felt righteously amazing, as well.
These are examples of the spirit of man I hope to see every day of the year. That’s my wish for 2019. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.