Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Will to All


It was late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Shoppers hurried along icy sidewalks as the streetlights added a golden gleam to the falling snow. A man walked swiftly up to the doors of the Goodwill store and stepped inside, stopping a moment to catch his breath after the quick walk from his car to the store in the chillly air.


Only one other customer was in the store. He watched the elderly lady push her cart slowly down the aisles of the Goodwill store. She was obviously shopping for Christmas. She picked up a toy, looked it over carefully and put it down again before moving on to the holiday decorations table. There was little left from which to choose, but she lifted up a small tree and turned it around and around in her hands, apparently seeking the price.

The man picked up some antique dishes, marked "made in Occupied Japan." He often stopped at Goodwill to check out new arrivals and frequently made some good finds. As he moved to the register with his purchases, he noticed that the other shopper had already finished making her selections and was waiting to check out.

As the two customers waited for a clerk, they talked about a doll in the woman's cart. The doll was wearing a hand-crocheted dress. "It's for my granddaughter," she said. "I can't do such handiwork although I love to sew." Her wrinkled hands shook slightly as she placed the doll, a sparkly snowflake ornament, a toy truck and a few other items on the counter in front of her.

The clerk arrived and rang up the items. The woman dug in her purse and pulled out a gift certificate. "Can I use this?"

"Sure," the clerk answered. "It comes to $3.71. You'll still have some money left on your certificate. I'll get the manager; she needs to take care of it for you."

When the manager arrived, the elderly woman asked, "How much is that little Christmas tree in back? I couldn't find a price on it."

"Can you show me which tree you want?" the clerk asked. The two women walked to the back of the store.

The manager smiled at the waiting customer. "I can check you out over here." She pointed to the other register.

"No," the man replied. "Ring me up here. Leave her items on my bill."

"Are you sure?" asked the manager. "She has a gift certificate."

"She can use it later, can't she?"

"Well, sure."

"Okay then. Ring it up quick so I can be out of here before she comes back. And add $5 for the tree, that ought to be enough."

"Sure, if that's what you want." The manager grinned and quickly rang up the items. The man picked up his purchases and left.

As the door closed behind him, the clerk and the customer returned to the counter with the little tree.

"How much for the tree?" the clerk asked the manager. "We couldn't find a price."

"It's free," the manager replied. "The man who just left paid for it."

The old woman stared. "He paid for it?"

"Yes, and all your other things too."

The old woman looked at the toys and decorations on the counter. "Who...who was he?"

"I don't know, but I have a feeling it was Santa Claus," the manager replied.

15 comments:

Janet, said...

Susanne, I liked your story. It was very touching.

Patty said...

That is a wonderful story, you didn't say if it was true or not, but I like to think it was. The act of kindness was indeed one we don't find often..
Merry Christmas to you.

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing such beautiful stories!
May your Christmas be merry and your new year blessed!

Tracey said...

What a nice story!
Merry Christmas,
Tracey

Granny Sue said...

Yes, Patty, it's based on a true story. A few things were changed to protect the innocent ;-)

D said...

:)

ELLOUISESTORY said...

Thanks for your lovely story. I am glad its true. Ellouise

Mary said...

Wonderful story! Thank you! (Might I tell it sometime, giving credit, of course?)

Mary said...

Wonderful story! Thank you! (Might I tell it sometime, giving credit, of course?)

Granny Sue said...

Of course you can, Mary. I'd be pleased if you would tell it.

JoyceAnn said...

Beautiful story , Thanks for sharing.


~ Many Blessings ~
JoyceAnn

bayouwoman said...

It was a SC ambassador, no doubt! What a great story---of something that could happen everyday, not just during the holidays.
BW

bayouwoman said...

It was a SC ambassador, no doubt! What a great story---of something that could happen everyday, not just during the holidays.
BW

goodwillnne said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing it.

Michelle, Goodwill of Northern New England

Granny Sue said...

You're welcome, Michelle. Thanks for stopping by!

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