Nov. 29th, 2007

This story is from my mom. It happened to her last week. It's a nice holiday story, and she asked that I share it with as many people as possible, so here goes:


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. This morning I took my car to be winterized at my favorite (because of the owner’s proven honesty) mechanic’s shop. On the way I picked up some donuts for the guys, and got there around 11:00 am. After about a half hour, I noticed a customer questioning the owner about an issue that they were trying to resolve. I talked to the owner’s wife and offered to give him a character reference, but she felt it wasn’t necessary. They finished talking and the customer left.

After sitting there awhile, knitting a scarf and watching TV, the manager of the shop told me the battery on my ’93 Sable was “borderline.” He suggested that because winter weather could cause the battery to die, he felt I should get a new one. I told him that this is not a good time, meaning other expenses are taking precedence over a battery that “might” or ”might not” go out on me. And since I rarely drive outside the local area, I am not worried about getting stranded without finding someone available to help me. Having friends in a small town definitely has advantages. Another customer, a man who had been waiting to be helped, finished talking to the manager and left the shop.

After several more minutes, the manager told me they were going to put a new battery in my car, and that it was from Santa Claus. My eyes are starting to tear-up, but there’s a smile on my face as I’m writing this. After I speculated on who might have given me the gift, the manager told me it had been a customer who had heard my conversation. I’m pretty sure it was the man I saw leaving the shop shortly afterward……… And………in addition to Santa’s gift, the manager of the shop gave him a reduced price on the battery, just because the man’s actions had, in his words “made my day.” (Another act of kindness…how great is that.)

What an awesome, kind hearted thing for a stranger to do for this old lady. I’m 70 plus years old, but still pretty healthy for my age. I am not destitute, but I feel the need to keep working to make ends meet. After taking care of other expenses, I would have eventually had a new battery put in my car. But I am so touched by this act of kindness, that it has motivated me to try to help others in some small way.

In past years, during the holidays I have occasionally collected money, food and clothes for the American Red Cross and other charities. But the older I get, the lazier I get and convince myself that I’m too tired to do anything that requires extra energy, even though my conscience bothers me to do otherwise. Anyway…… my Secret Santa has motivated me to get movin’ and do something for others.

So…..I’ve decided that this year, I will, again, make myself available to try to collect food and/or money for the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross doesn’t take clothing anymore, but I will volunteer to pickup small bags of clothing and/or blankets and take them to the Goodwill Store that is near where I live.

I have told the auto mechanic shop owner to let Santa Claus know that his generosity is greatly appreciated and has given this old lady motivation to get busy and perform a few good deeds of my own.. I’m also secretly hoping that it might motivate some of my friends to do likewise. And please consider passing this on to your friends and relatives as well. I’m hoping that “Santa’s” kindness is contagious.

One other idea I have found that has come in handy on occasion is carrying used warm clothing in a small bag in my car during winter weather. The other day I was able to give used gloves and a jacket to a young girl Salvation Army bell ringer. I’ve found they also appreciate a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a cold day.

That’s all for now, guys…….Have a wonderful Thanksgiving……

P.S. The shop manager told me that “Santa” lives in the same town as the mechanic, so I plan to anonymously give this story to the local Times newspaper…I hope he sees it. And….I’ve asked the owner of the shop if I can use his name when I submit this story to a newspaper. Instead of taking advantage of the free publicity, he declined because he felt it would diminish the message of the story.


(Here's a link to a a blog written by the Times reporter of this same story; his paper would not allow him to publish this without names, but he blogged it: A Secret Santa.)

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indyellen

September 2008

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