As we entered the Christmas shop, we were overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, and even smells of Christmas. I was initially drawn to the Fontanini nativity figures. My son, however, beckoned for us all to "Come here!" He was enamored with a newest Christmas village (or so it seemed to us), the neighborhood from "A Christmas Story." Yep, there was Ralphie in his pink bunny suit, there was the house bedecked with Christmas lights, the Chinese restaurant, Scut Farkus & his toadie, all of it. Well, not all of it. We longed for the school and the flagpole. I'm sure that will be along soon. Such fun we all had looking at all the vignettes.
Soon we moved on . . .
There were Christmas villages and ornaments in every hue and genre and nightlights and nutcrackers and candles and flags and music boxes and table clothes and advent calendars and tree skirts and cookie jars and perfume bottles and anything else you can imagine. Chocolates? Yes, even chocolates.
We had such fun picking things out for here and for there. It's not every day I find a glittery tree ornament in the perfect shade of lavender for my powder room!
I had spied a few things the kids should have -- from Santa Claus, of course, so my husband, ever-the-helpful elf, ushered the kids outside while I paid for our picks along with a few more things "Santa" picked out. As the shopkeeper rang up my order, he picked up two things and asked, "Are these for your children?"
"Yes," I said, "they are."
He put them on the table next to him without ringing them. "Free," he said. "I've never had such nice children in my store. Consider these my gifts to them."
How very kind and unexpected. I thanked him and hurried out to the kids, eager to share the kindness with them. They were so excited to receive their surprise hologram-Christmas glasses (I'll have to get a picture.). Imagine how cute they looked sporting their new 3-D glasses as they re-entered the store and thanked the shopkeeper. Such a sweet and proud moment for me as well as them.
Simple kindness profoundly affects a wanting heart.
It has been a long road with my daughter. Most days bring struggle, sometimes smiles are scarce; sometimes my heart struggles to see progress. This kindness from the shopkeeper was the nod of encouragement my husband and I so desperately needed on that day, at that moment.
This holiday season, I have no advice on dressing your mantle or sprucing up your tree. But I do implore you: Show a kindness when the spirit moves you. Do not let that moment pass. Don't let that person leave without the thing they may so deeply need. We so often have no idea the weight of our actions . . . good and bad, expressed and still. Be kind. Be gentle. Do that thing that crosses your mind.
Simple kindness feels profound in trying days.
My heartfelt thanks to Demory's Christmas Memories.