Friday, December 16, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas

Love Actually
Love this party in Love Actually

**Wordy and long post, but its worth it!

Have you heard the stories of the K-mart layaway accounts getting paid off by generous donors? It is happening all over America and I think it is quite possibly the most wonderful thing about this time of year.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- The young father stood in line at the Kmart layaway counter, wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots. With him were three small children.
He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn't be able to afford it all before Christmas. Then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.
"She told him, 'No, I'm paying for it,'" recalled Edna Deppe, assistant manager at the store in Indianapolis. "He just stood there and looked at her and then looked at me and asked if it was a joke. I told him it wasn't, and that she was going to pay for him. And he just busted out in tears."
Read more here
And have you seen what MODG is doing? She wrote a post that involved financial information and received some nasty comments...and then some comments by people that don't have much but they just wanted to send her kudos. Well, she has connected the people that are struggling these holidays and is matching them up with Christmas Angels. Pretty amazing right? Read about that here.
I have the privilege to admit that this happened to me several years ago. It was 2003 and I was working my first job out of College. Making a whopping $22,800 as a personal banker. I have already blogged about this story but I'll give you the quickie version. My two friends at work knew I really wanted this cute dress for our fancy Christmas party at the Breakers (back when Corporate parties were insane) and they bought it for me! This dress had the cutest pale pink bow and I was walking around the Gardens Mall and saw the most spectacular pink high heels at Ann Taylor. They were $110 and I held them up to my dress and it was a match made in consumer heaven. I took the box up front and asked them to Hold them. The sales lady said..are you sure you don't want to buy today and I replied "No, I'm not sure I can get them, I'll just put them on hold and sleep on it." I was at the time eating Taco Bell refried beans out of  a can and babysitting every hour of my free time so I really couldn't justify these shoes. Plus I was not going to call Mom and Dad. Once I graduated and moved to Florida I made sure I never asked them for help (except that time my alternator blew up in the old Isuzu Rodeo...)
It's Christmas  #Christmas
I went back to the store the following day just to look at the shoes again and the sales lady said that my shoes have been purchased. I was sad but understood that they couldn't hold them forever. But she saw my expression and said...."Oh, no...they were purchased for YOU." I immediately thought it was my very good guy friend (who is now my husband :) ) because he used to do things like that. But she said it was an anonymous woman who saw me looking at the shoes and said, that little girl deserves to have those shoes. And bought them!!! She didn't leave her name and just paid for an anonymous gift for a person she had never met. I started crying and crying and made quite the scene at AT. 
Last week I hosted my annual Ornament Swap and I was in a tizzy to get the house perfect. I have about 14 items that I need to get framed. Its pathetic. Jazz Fest Posters, Mardi Gras Posters, Maps we bought on trips, watercolors from Provence...its insane. I also have these hideous Brass framed prints that I grabbed from my parents' attic. I took the Brass frames to my favorite frame shop and asked how much it would cost to replace the old art with some newer art...she said maybe $30 each..not bad right?! When M when to pick them up for me Saturday she said no charge. She told M that she knew I wanted the house perfect and this one little thing could help. 
So...I am going to pay it forward. I'm not sure how yet, but I'm working on it. We did adopt a family through our Church and have bought several Angel Tree gifts. But I want to do more. What are you doing this year in the name of the Christmas Spirit?

Elf Kat


  1. Love this! Gave me chills. Love the idea of paying it forward. You know a lot of times we are out to dinner and my dad sees a family with young kids he secretly pays for their dinner bc he said he remembers how hard it was when we were young and they had no money. Truly the real meaning of Christmas! I need to pay it forward!

  2. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for the great idea! So glad to find your blog!

  3. THIS is what Christmas is all about. Thank you for the reminder that its not at all about the glitzy (but beautiful) decorations or the extravagant and not so extravagant gifts but is about a spirit that we hopefully all have in us to do something kind and good to help someone else less fortunate. This truly warmed my heart, thank you!

  4. So wonderful! Things like that have happened a few times in my life and have left an impression that will last forever.