These Christmas Miracles Are Predictably Beautiful

, , , , , , | Hopeless | January 11, 2019

(When I am seven and a half months pregnant, my husband passes away suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition. I have no other family, just some close friends. Things have been tough emotionally and financially. Christmas Eve, I’m buying just essentials — nappies, formula, bread, etc. — but nothing you would class as festive. While waiting in a very long line at the checkout, my six-month-old daughter starts to fuss. A guy in his 50s is behind me and starts making funny faces, causing my daughter to stop crying and laugh, instead. As we get near to the belt, he turns to the lady behind him and says he forgot something and asks if he can run to grab it. She agrees to hold his spot in line. He comes back with a gift card and a box of chocolates in addition to the groceries already in his basket. Once I’m ready to pay, he steps forward.)

Gentleman: “Wait. Please add my things and put $100 on the gift card. I’ll pay for it.”

Me: “Thank you, sir, but that’s okay.”

Gentleman: “Please, I’d like to. Call it an early Christmas present.”

(The cashier rings up his things, as well. The total comes close to $250, with my stuff close to $100. I’m now in tears.)

Me: “Thank you so much. I’ve had a really hard year and this means everything to me. I don’t know how to thank you.”

(He takes out the box of chocolates and gift card and hands them to me, as well.)

Gentleman: “The world could do with more kindness. Not enough people care about others. Take these and enjoy your Christmas with your gorgeous daughter. Things will get better. Merry Christmas, and I hope 2019 is a better year for you.”

(Before I could say anything else, he walked away. Not only was I in tears, but so were the cashier and the lady behind me in line. I was really speechless as I’d heard about things like this but had never witnessed it, let alone had it happen to me. To the gentleman who did this, I really hope you’re reading this. Thank you for your generosity. You made an extremely difficult time of year and a really crappy year so much better. I hope, in times to come, I will be in a position to pay it forward.)

As If January Isn’t Already Depressing Enough

, , | Right | January 10, 2019

(Everyone I know complains that as soon as Christmas is over all of the supermarkets stock up on Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns. They are literally in the shops on Boxing Day. The companies say it’s what the consumer wants, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who rushes out on Boxing Day to buy Easter supplies. But today takes the cake. It’s now January 10th. I am in a gift shop that sells cards when a man rushes in.)

Customer: *to retailer* “Do you have Easter cards?”

Retailer: “No, not yet.”

Customer: “Are you sure? Are you sure? The supermarket has Easter eggs.”

Retailer: “Yes, but you can look if you want. You might find something you can use, but it’s a bit early.”

Customer: “But the supermarket has Easter things; it’s too early.”

Retailer: “Yes, I know; it’s too early.”

Customer: “Are you sure you don’t have Easter Cards?”

Retailer: “Yes, it’s way too early.”

Customer: “I know it’s too early.”

(I had to leave before I started laughing.)

We Wish You A Less-Awkward Christmas

, , , , | Related | January 5, 2019

(I love my boyfriend, but his mother is something else. I was born in Eastern Europe but have lived in the US since I was five. I am spending my first Christmas with him and his family. As soon as I enter the house:)

Boyfriend’s Mother: *says something in Russian*

Boyfriend: “Mom! [My Name] is Romanian, not Russian.”

Boyfriend’s Mother: “Oh, don’t they share a language?”

Me: “Most people seem to think that, despite the two languages sounding nothing alike, but it’s okay. Common mistake.”

(After the cats destroy one of the curtains:)

Boyfriend’s Dad: “D*** cats. If you don’t let me take them to the vet to have them declawed, [Boyfriend’s Mother], I’ll be forced to buy a curtain made of iron.”

Boyfriend’s Mother: “Shh! Don’t remind poor [My Name] of her country’s problems.”

Boyfriend’s Dad: “What the h*** are you on?”

Me: “Uh, ma’am, I was born in a democracy.” *trying to change the subject* “Sir, I can recommend a good brand of scratching posts to solve your problem.”

(At dinner:)

Boyfriend’s Mother: “[My Name], I wanted you to feel welcomed so I looked up some traditional Romanian dishes.”

Boyfriend: “Mom…”

Boyfriend’s Mother: “What?”

Me: “I appreciate the effort, and it looks quite tasty, but I’m allergic to cabbage.”

Boyfriend’s Mother: “Really? [Boyfriend], didn’t you tell me you’ve eaten this dish with her before?”

Boyfriend: “Yes, but [My Name]’s grandma made it and used grape leaves instead of cabbage.”

Boyfriend’s Dad: “Honey, next time just ask.”

(At night, in bed:)

Me: “I ruined Christmas, didn’t I?”

Boyfriend: “I told you mom takes her hospitality and political correctness a step further than most people, but neither of you meant any harm.”

(I guess everyone has awkward moments when spending Christmas with their significant other’s family for the first time.)

Just Another (Another) Christmas Miracle

, , , , , | Hopeless | January 2, 2019

(This year has been extremely difficult on my family. First, my grandmother, my mother’s mother, passes away eight days after having a stroke. Then, five weeks later, my sister takes her life. Due to the emotional stress and an emotional breakdown, my mother ends up leaving work and is told to not return until after the new year. As a result, both my dad and I help provide for our household. He only gets so much a week, and I get paid once a month through Social Security Death Benefits. During this time, many people have offered — and gone through with — buying my daughter Christmas presents. I go through a couple programs for it, and after I think we’ve received every single present, including ones from my late husband’s family, my mother drops this one on me.)

Mom: *gets off the phone* “That was our landlord.”

Me: “Yeah? What she’s up to?”

Mom: “Her mother put [My Daughter] in the Christmas Children’s Giving selection.”

Me: “Yeah?”

Mom: “She was picked, and will be getting presents tomorrow.”

Me: “M-more?! From random strangers?!”

Mom: “Yep.”

Me: *ducks head down to not let anyone see me tear up*

(To everyone who has helped this family out, after such a horrible and devastating year, just for Christmas, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks to all these people, my daughter will have a great Christmas; we had been so worried what we would possibly do to afford it for her.)

Just Another Christmas Miracle

No New Years’ Reprieve

, , , | Right | January 2, 2019

(It’s very quiet in the supermarket, as it’s still early in the morning. I’m packing my groceries, and since there is no one else, the cashiers start talking to each other. This is what I overhear.)

Cashier #1: “Did you hear we closed late on New Year’s Eve?”

Cashier #2: “I thought we would be closing early?”

Cashier #1: “Yeah, we were supposed to, but like, five minutes before closing, a party of five rushed in. They quickly loaded four carts with soda cans. You know, the ones from the special deal the day before.”

(My ears perk up and I actually start packing more slowly.)

Cashier #1: “I rang them all up, and when the lady had paid, she suddenly mentioned the special deal. I told her it wasn’t part of the deal anymore. It took me, and the manager, like ten minutes to convince her they were no longer in the deal. So, she said she no longer wanted them. and I had to return every single can. I left my register to get that lady’s money because I didn’t have that much left. The manager remained behind to keep an eye on them.”

Cashier #2: “But that shouldn’t have taken that long?”

Cashier #1: “It didn’t, but when I returned, the lady said she had changed her mind! I had to scan all the cans again!”

Me: *accidentally piping up* “Did that lady even apologize?!”

(The cashiers look at me, but considering how loud they have been speaking, it was quite hard to miss it.)

Cashier #1: “No, but I did tell her that we were supposed to close 45 minutes earlier and that we now all had to stay longer because of this. She didn’t say anything when she finally left!”

(Sorry for eavesdropping, ladies!)

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