Monday, November 30, 2009

A Chance to be Profound

The storefront glittered and gleamed with holiday lights, artificial snowflakes, and glittering figures.  The four of us looked at each other; eyes big . . "Okay, just remember . . . no touching," we reminded the kids.  "Now let's go have fun!"

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.  




The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a fabulous post! This is like it's own Christmas story. Thank you for sharing this with us, and I'm proud of you and your children.

"Simple kindness profoundly affects a wanting heart."

Is this your own quote or did you read this? I love this more than anything. And it's so true!

I think this post is far better than any tree or mantle post you could do. It affected me. I guess my heart was wanting, and I'm so glad you filled it. XOXOXO


Sheila :-)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is like "its" own Christmas story. I got so excited I forgot to check my grammar. ;-)

Di in Indiana said...

Thanks for reminding me to do that which crosses my mind. Kudos to you for having such well behaved children. Kudos to the shopkeeper for acknowledging good behavior. I remember when my girls were little, how much it meant to have someone compliment them on being well behaved. The most treasured comment came from my father. To get a "good job" from your dad always does one good, no matter what age you are.

LemonyRenee' said...

Oh, Sheila, thank you. I'm so glad you liked it. Yes, it is my own quote. Have a great day.

LemonyRenee' said...

Hi Di, and thanks! I'm so glad you got that compliment from your father; I can see it meant a lot to you.

jeanne said...

Thank you so much for your visit today. I am very happy to meet you.

I loved your wonderful story and Christmas shopping event. How wonderful to have such a sweet compliment for your children Every mother's dream. And dad's to I'm sure. A kindness we don't expect, makes it even sweeter.

Christmas blessings to you and the store keeper. It makes me just smile really big.

Hugs, Jeanne

Steve Demory said...

Jill it was pleasure having your wonderful children in my Christmas store.

What Great kids they are.

Steve Demory

Weza said...

What a wonderful account of the kindness of strangers, I think you may have entertained an angel that day. WOW

Chickens in the Basement said...

Thanks for the reminder! When things are Christmas-hectic, it is so easy to become annoyed with kids. When I feel this coming on, I'll have an internal talk with myself.


Tricia said...

What an inspiring post. Congratulations on such a wonderful compliment on your children's character. My bff always takes her child out for a banana split if someone compliments him (or her)unsolicited on his character. I always thought that was a great idea. Her children do behave wonderfully, too.

And thanks for the reminder to take time to be kind!

Take care and enjoy your week.


Tara said...

Hi Renee. I just sent you another email from a different address. I hope we can connect finally! Your shopping trip sounds like it was fun. Sometimes fun is hard to come by when shopping with the little ones. A Christmas Story is one of my favorites! I hope the email works this time!

Unknown said...

Renee', what a lovely post! You really know how to tell a story . . . I was engrossed from beginning to end!

Life is about 'getting' the small miracles that happen every day and I think you've nailed it on the head with this one. We're so often told what we do 'wrong' and very seldom are acknowedged for what we do 'right'. That shop keeper must be some kind of wise man!

Thanks so much for sharing!


GwendolynKay said...

I love this post. I would have loved to have seen the Christmas story village! I so agree about the kind gestures... I always try to obey when prompted to do something good, as I believe it is the holy spriit behind it. Have a blessed day!

June said...

I have chills reading this post today. My heart is full and you have added so much more to it. Both with this post and with your idea for your grandmother's sweaters. Thank you Sheila for making my heart smile.

Becky said...

Renee, you and your DH have blessed the many lives you have touched, and your children are living proof of it. No one promised us that the reality of raising our children would match up with our dreams, but when it does it is SO wonderful! Congratulations. You've done a good job, Mom.

Anonymous said...

The "shopkeeper" who is the focus of Jill's story is my youngest brother, Steve. I'm so proud of him and thank Jill for taking the time to thank him for his kindness!
Steve is a terrific brother, has a big heart and dearly loves his Christmas store. His wife "Charlie" works hard decorating and making it feel so magical and their son Eric helps out too. "Demory's" is truly one of those old time "family businesses" where the "shopkeeper" gets to know and really cares about the folks who come in to the shop.
Sadly, as with many family businesses, Demory's Christmas Memories in Hagerstown, MD, is going through tough times right now.
With customers like Jill spreading the word about my brother, "the shopkeeper", things are sure to improve. So THANKS JILL!
Diane Demory Marcella, Steve's "Big Sister".

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