Monday, December 17, 2012

Making Spirits Bright

By Evelyn David

"Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

― Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery

This is just a nice, holiday feel-good story. Please share some of your own experiences. These types of tales remind us of how the small gestures of charity and kindness reverberate and reflect the true joy of the season.

My friend has served on the board of a women's shelter for many years. It is a place where women and children, victims of domestic violence, can find a safe refuge to begin rebuilding their lives. Every year, there are always plenty of gifts for the children at the shelter, but my friend has organized a program to make sure that each of the mothers also has something to open on Christmas Day. Donors are asked to purchase a robe, slippers, and some beauty product, and put them in a festive bag. I've been participating for years and the joy I get from this small charitable gesture makes the season bright for me.

I mention, only in passing, that my friend is Jewish, very active in her Temple, but determined to make the holidays special for those who are already struggling mightily.

This year, my friend asked the housemother at a group home for young boys, if anyone needed anything special. Yes, a teenager (father dead, mother an addict) was growing like a weed and needed some new clothes. "No problem," said my friend and off she went to Kohl's Department Store.

Now, let me add that my friend is not only charitable, but likes a good bargain too! Kohl's was giving out coupons and by the luck of the draw, you could get 15, 20, or 30 percent off your entire purchase. Hallelujah, she'd gotten a 30 percent off coupon! She shopped carefully and picked out several new slacks and shirts for the teen. She went up to the register, armed with her coupon, and when the cashier rang up the total, it came to $87.

And then all H**l broke out. Bells, whistles, and a booming voice over the store loudspeaker system, announced that my friend was the day's winner.

Winner? She felt like she'd won when she got the 30% off coupon. Nope, it was better than that.

Kohl's had a new promotion. Once a day, a shopper is chosen at random to receive his or her purchase for FREE.


Not wanting her coupon to go to waste, my friend turned to the man standing next to her in line and offered it to him. He explained that he worked for a construction company and that a group of workers were doing the same thing she was – buying for someone, in this case, an entire family in need. My friend's coupon was double what his was.

I told my friend that she was doing a beautiful mitzvah (Hebrew for good deed). And she said what she always says, "I get more out of it than I give."

Bill Gates, bless his heart, can make donations to worthy causes at levels I can't even comprehend. But the small gestures are just as important – maybe more so?

Wishing you the best, brightest, most joyous holiday season.

 Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David


A Reason to Give Thanks includes: Giving Thanks in Lottawatah, Bah, Humbug in Lottawatah, Moonlighting at the Mall, The Fortune Teller's Face, A Reason to Give Thanks, Sneak Peek – Murder Off the Books, Sneak Peek – I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries

A Reason to Give Thanks

Sullivan Investigations Mystery
Murder Off the Books Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback
Murder Takes the Cake Kindle - Nook - Smashwords - Trade Paperback 
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Moonlighting at the Mall (short story) - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


Zoned for Murder
Kindle Trade Paperback

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle (exclusive to Amazon this month)
Lottawatah Twister - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Missing in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Good Grief in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Summer Lightning in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

The Ghosts of Lottawatah - trade paperback collection of the Brianna e-books
Book 1 - I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries (includes the first four Brianna e-books)
Book 2 - A Haunting in Lottawatah (includes the 5th, 6th, and 7th Brianna e-books)

Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. Loved this story. We can all do something like this. We have many needy kids at our church. I have a friend who isn't a churchgoer, but always gets a list from me of the kids and their ages and sizes and hands them out at her garden club. Thanks to them, we have lots of gifts for these kids. (Other at our church fill in too.)

  2. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. Just what we needed today. Maggie

  3. Thanks for sharing this lovely story. I have been blessed in the past and been able to do things like that. And your friend is absolutely right, it made me feel as if I had won the lottery to be able to help others.

    That is what this holiday season is...loving others.

  4. What a wonderful story, and how amazing is the story for the "free" purchase. We need stories like this at this time.

  5. Many thanks Marilyn, Mmaggie, Annette, and Lil. It's so nice to share these special holiday moments with all of you.

    May your holidays be merry and bright.


  6. What an amazing and wonderful story! Thanks so much. It was sorely needed right now with all the sadness and violence in the news.


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