To Mom, Dad, my family and friends and readers, I want to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas. I’d want to spend it physically with some of you, all of you, any of you, but you are in my heart and mind on this, Christmas Eve as I write it.
I am feeling somewhat better, physically, I think all of you know I have been battling a nasty cold the last few days. It’s still attacking me, but I am slowly winning the fight.
I also wanted to share with all of you something that just happened, a few minutes ago as I wrote this. I don’t do it to brag, or to toot my own horn, but merely to affirm to myself and the rest of you that, even alone, the spirit of the holiday is here, within me.
I was in the grocery store, on the checkout line, buying a few things. Ahead of me was a nice little old lady, the real grandmother type. She was buying some candy, some chunk canned chicken, and some cat food. The checkout lady asked her if she was alone and she said no. There was a pregnant pause and then she indicated me, standing on the line behind her, barely paying attention to the conversation. I could sense it though…she was alone on this christmas eve. I felt a twinge of sadness.
When it came time for her to pay for her groceries, about $13, I watched as she pulled out a few singles and some coins. It became apparent to me, and to the checkout girl that she didn’t have enough…she only had $7 or so. The checkout girl then asked her a question that I, back when I worked in a grocery store, saw every day. She asked her what items she wanted to remove from her order.
Something possessed me and I still can’t quantify it. I pay by debit card at the store, and so it was a fait accompli. I swiped my card, and paid for the bill and only then, once it was a done deal, told the cashier and the lady that I would pay for the groceries. I refused even the $7 that the lady had, something inside me told me to pay for the bill in full and so I did.
The lady thanked me, the checkout girl looked at me quizzically, and the people behind me just seemed relieved that the delay was over. But I felt like I did the right thing, and after I bought my own groceries, and walked out of the store with a spring in my step.
It wasn’t much…it was less than $13, but I think I brought a ray of happiness to that lady, on Christmas Eve. And that is my story.
Merry Christmas everyone.