My own little Christmas tradition... : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I just thought I'd share something I've done for a number of years now. It's nothing big or really that special, but I enjoy it.

Christmas Eve day I go to the big local mall here with absolutely nothing to buy or do for myself. I go out there just to hold doors, carry packages and help load things into vehicles for harried shoppers.

This whole thing started for me over fifteen years ago when I was at a local 'Toys R Us' store to shop for my then-young children. As I was approaching the store I saw a black man trying to load a bicycle he'd just bought there into the back seat of his car. As I walked toward the store, I saw him walk from one side to the other trying to get it loaded, but to no avail.

I walked to the opposite side of his car from him and, with the two of us it took less than a minute of my time for me to help him get his child's new bike loaded into his car so he could get on with his shopping or home to his family. The look of amazement and gratitude on his face that a total stranger just walked up and helped him as I did is something I'll never forget.

Maybe what I do now is selfish because, I have to tell you, I love seeing that look on people's faces when you just walk up and offer to help when they're at their wit's end trying to get last minute shopping done.

Anyhow, that's how I spend my Christmas Eve day every year now. Tomorrow, I'll be out at the mall all day and not buy a thing. I will, however, carry out a bunch of presents. ;o)

-- Gary in Indiana (, December 23, 2001


What a nice thing to do, Gary!

-- Joy F {Southern Wisconsin} (, December 23, 2001.

My goodness! A gentleman! What a rare find! Good for you!

-- Cindy (SE. IN) (, December 23, 2001.

thank you... I was dreading the first Christmas with no offspring home. The ache has lifted.

I will be out there tomorrow, following your example.

Bless you.

-- Rose (, December 23, 2001.

That is SO nice! What a great thing to do! I went out yesterday morning not quite Bonzai, but close. People seemed to be really pleasant and cheery-it was really nice.

-- Kelly (, December 23, 2001.

How nice Gary, you are a great person to bring a little joy into people's lives this way!!!

-- Melissa (, December 23, 2001.

Chivalry is not dead! You have restored my faith!!God bless you as you bless others!Merry Christmas!!!

-- Micheale from SE Kansas (, December 23, 2001.

Gary, Do you have any good stories to share about your visit to the Mall today?

I had to make a trip to the Mall today to get a last minute gift, when I was returning to my truck after purchasing my gift I saw a woman struggling with an arm load of packages and I offered to help her get them to her car, she did look at me a little strangely but let me help her and she was quite pleased withthe extra hand. I Thank You for the insperation! It was FUN!

-- Mark in N.C. Fla. (, December 24, 2001.

I had a wonderful time on the 24th. Mark asked me for a 'war story' and I do have one I'll share here. A woman with her SIX children in tow was trying to shop and, as you can imagine, not having an easy time of it as the oldest was only in second grade. We were able to combine forces and get everything done. We went to a toy store where the kids were more than happy to point out things they thought were "so cool." After going up and down the aisles, I took the kids to a play area while their Mom then shopped and got things tightly bagged and we took them to her car. This woman looked so relieved as though a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. I swear I get far more out of this than I give.

I'm really happy to read that you and Rose did something like this, too. Isn't it a great feeling? Maybe we'll be the start of a Christmas eve day "Pay it Forward" like the movie. Wouldn't that be a wonderful Christmas tradition then?

-- Gary in Indiana (, December 25, 2001.

Totally cool thing to do Gary. Merry Christmas a day late. It is nice to know that gentlemen still exist.

-- melinda (, December 26, 2001.

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