Full disclosure: It’s been a tough couple of months for my family.
My husband has been out of a job, and our savings is quickly coming to an end.
This isn’t something we share with most people. I don’t think you’d ever even have a clue we were struggling if we didn’t tell you.
When I say, though, that it’s been tight, I mean the balloon is about as full as it will go, and it’s about to pop.
So, a couple days ago I was at Walmart doing my big monthly shopping trip, and I knew we were going to be cutting it really close.
I side eyed the cash register, and made myself take deep breaths as I watched the total grow and grow — eventually over $100, over $110, over $120.
Now, I’m nearly 100% positive that nobody around me would have known how nervous I was. On the outside I was chill. On the inside I was on the verge of panicking.
The total for the groceries was big, but I had enough on my credit card to cover it. I gladly took out my card to stick in the payment machine thingy.
Before I could slip the card in, the man behind me said, “You know what, just add it to my total, I’m paying for it.”
I’m sorry, what?
He only had like 3 things on the conveyor belt.
I looked at him kind of dumbfounded and said, “That is so sweet of you, but there’s no way I’m letting you pay (total).”
“Look,” he replied, “I have budgeted for this, and if you will let me pay, I want to pay.”
I stood there for what seemed like minutes, but it was probably seconds.
I think I stuttered a couple times, but can’t be real sure.
He paused a second, and then stuck his card in the machine.
“Done,” he said. “Merry Christmas.”
I almost cried right then and there on the spot. There is no way that this stranger could have known exactly how much this would mean to my family.
I’m nearly positive that this man was a Christmas angel — or maybe an elf sent straight from Santa to give me an early Christmas gift.
I made him a promise to pay it forward when I could, and I will.
This is what the Holiday spirit is all about, and I’ve never quite felt the Holiday feels quite like I did at that moment.
So, someday, when we get on our feet a little bit better, I plan to fulfill my promise to Pay It Forward two fold. I can’t wait to “make” someone’s entire week, like this dude did for me.
Please, if you have the means, and you sense someone is struggling — especially during this holiday season — go that extra mile to help.