Friday, December 6, 2013
The Best Give You Can Receive #Christmas
Back on National Kindness Day I shared a post about my plans for doing something kind. If you didn't read it, check it out. In essence, I was served by a waitress at a local restaurant who made a difference. She is a hard worker and just went above and beyond in providing service to her customers. One would never know from her exuberant personality and positive attitude that she was struggling. As a single mom, she was trying to make ends meet and her car was broken down.
I am going to change gears here a bit. Last year, I made a new group of friends. My new friends and I went to lunch near Christmas and had a Chinese gift exchange--you know, the one where you steal each other's gifts. Anyway, some of us ended up with a candle, some a bottle of wine, some body lotion, and some a Christmas ornament. We all had a good time.
And when we started talking about our luncheon for this year, I had an idea. None of us needed any of the items we would get (and if we did, we could go out and purchase them). What if...what if we took the money we spent on each other and gave it to this waitress instead? (I think I may have been inspired by this video clip of an Ellen show.) It would be nothing off our backs, but could really make a difference for her. I brought it up and some of my friends thought it was a great idea (notice I said some). So, we planned it and invited others to join us. We had 14 people ready to go to lunch the Friday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the waitress was sick. With Thanksgiving and crazy schedules during the day in the coming weeks, we knew it would be difficult to plan another luncheon anytime soon. We chose a date for dinner, made sure the waitress would be available (the manager actually asked her to pick up the night) and went with it. Unfortunately, only three of us were actually able to make it, but I had collected money from several other friends. One friend even collected $100 from her mother's group. One friend donated $100. All in all, we had several moms wanting to help out.
Last night, we had the honor of presenting our waitress, Adrianne, with a Christmas card filled with money. She was in tears. We were in tears. She hugged us. She cried some more and hugged us some more. It was a magical moment. She told us about her soon to be 4 year old son who would now "get a nice present for his birthday" on Sunday. She told us her car was not repairable, and she was saving and shopping for a new one and how much this would help. We knew that we had made a difference. Not just for a night. Not just for the season. But maybe a lifetime. What we shared with her was more than just money. We shared our hearts. She knew that people "out there" cared about her. When we told her that someday that maybe she would be able to pay it forward, she says she tries to do that now with what she has. "I try to be positive and make the best of every single day," she said. (That was evident the first time she waited on me.)
In doing this small gesture of kindness, my friends and I all agree that this was the best Christmas gift from each other that we had ever received. In the words of St. Francis, For it is in giving that we receive.