Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spreading Good Cheer

The holiday season is upon us once again. I'm actually getting in the mood quite early this year because my travel schedule necessitates it. I've already started my shopping and preparations. I've even started to listen to Christmas music and watch all of my favorite Christmas movies!

I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day, picking up some holiday goodies and I remembered a sweet event that happened in this store last year during my holiday shopping frenzy.

My mother was visiting me and we were working together to complete our Christmas shopping and holiday preparations. We had two carts FULL of merchandise from Bed, Bath and Beyond. We were buying additional aerobeds and bedding for our guests and a number of Christmas presents. One of the items was a new Cuisinart, which was going to be my mom's Christmas gift to me. :)

I had a coupon for 20% off a single item in this particular store. As we got in line at the check out counter, I asked mom to hand me the coupon, so I could put it with the Cuisinart, since it was in my cart. We had a little discussion about how the Cuisinart was our most expensive item, and it made the most sense to apply the coupon to it.

A man in the line next to us overheard our conversation. He was standing there holding a set of sheets in his hands. That was to be his entire purchase. He turned to me and said, "Excuse me, I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. I have a 20% off your ENTIRE order coupon here... would you like to switch coupons?" I was totally shocked! "Are you kidding?" I asked. He assured me that he would get the same discount (20% off his one item) and that he'd love to do this for us. I was in a state of complete surprise and gratitude. We traded coupons and I thanked him about 25 times. He gave a big, ear to ear grin and said, "Merry Christmas!" He paid for his sheets and left, and we went through our check out process.

That lovely man saved us about $200!!! A simple act of generosity, but non-the-less, he didn't have to do it. He did it out of the goodness of his heart, and we were totally blown away. He looked like he felt pretty darn good about it to.

To me, that is really what the spirit of the holidays is all about. Helping each other out, going above and beyond what is required and spreading joy and good will. I also happen to think that is what life should be all the time... every single day.

That man impacted my mother and I more than he will ever know. I have told the story over and over again. That man's generosity will live on forever. I only hope that I can spread the type of joy that he did in the check out line that day.

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