Holiday Guest Kindness

by admin on December 23, 2015

I would love to share my holiday story! Some years ago, my fiance (now husband) and I were both fresh out of college and newly employed at low-paying entry level jobs. We moved into our first apartment at the beginning of December. It was very sparsely furnished, almost entirely with hand me downs. The rent and security, as well as the few things we had to purchase (a cheap set of dishes, things like that) had pretty much wiped out our meager savings. The cupboards were stocked with canned soup and ramen, and whatever other cheap items we could pick up.

A couple of weeks later, just before Christmas, a childhood friend of my husband’s (we will call him ‘Mark’) called and said he was taking a ski trip to the area, and would we mind putting him up to save the expense of the hotel? We told him he was certainly very welcome, but hoped he would not expect much in the way of entertainment and meals. We didn’t even have a spare bed or real couch, but he was welcome to sleep on the loveseat. He said that was fine, and arrived a couple of days later. I felt terrible that I did not have the means to provide very good accommodations, but tried to be as gracious a hostess as possible. Mark stayed for three days. On the morning of the day he planned to depart for home, I was awoken by a bit of a commotion in the kitchen. I got up and went to see what was going on.

Very early that morning, while we slept, Mark had gone out to a 24 hour grocery store, and was now stuffing our cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer with food. Staples (like bread, milk, flour and sugar), meat, fresh fruits and vegetables. He certainly spent as much on food as we would have on a hotel! I was dumbfounded, and began to cry. He simply said, “Thanks for letting me crash, and Merry Christmas.”

This was the most amazing act of kindness I have ever experienced, and truly made it a wonderful and very merry Christmas. 1007-15

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

@just4kicks December 23, 2015 at 6:13 am

Oh, THANK YOU for such a truly heart warming story!!! 🙂
How beautiful, and all of you sound like wonderful people and friends!

If I may share one of my own, well my folks story actually.
My mom’s mother died of a sudden heart attack on my Mom’s 19th bday, and 5 days before my parents wedding.
My dad was serving in the army, and had used up all his leave for the wedding.
At my grandfather’s insistence, they went ahead with the ceremony, but cancelled the reception.
My dad’s superior officer my dad could have a few weeks extra leave if he signed up for two more years in the service.
My agreed to the terms, as he couldn’t bear to leave his new bride after losing her mother so suddenly.
They ended up moving to Honolulu for my dad’s final two years of service.
They were FLAT broke, and had my sister the first year there.
My mom went through a pretty severe depression, losing her mom and being so far away from any family.
She took a job in a hair salon on the army base and one day overheard a lady saying she was from a certain town in Pennsylvania, and was there with her son who was an officer.
My mom being so homesick went to talk to this lady, and the my folks and this lovely woman and her son, Bernie, became very close friends even after leaving the service.
One Christmas, they invited my folks to their place for Christmas Eve dinner and midnight Mass.
As mentioned, my folks were very poor, and after dinner, Bernie said he had to go get a last minute gift for his mom and would my parents keep her company until he returned? Yes! Absolutely! We won’t leave until you get back.
Bernie returns about an hour later, and they all say goodnight and my folks head back to their small apartment.
As soon as they step into the door, they see a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, (they didn’t have money to get one that year), lots of presents for the baby (my sister) as well as a few for my folks.
They both burst into tears and my mom went into the kitchen to grab a box of tissues, and to call Bernie and Nana Lucy and say thank you for everything.
That’s when my mom notices things on the counter that weren’t there when they left and discovered the pantry and fridge were stocked to overflowing with food, and goodies….even a bottle of champagne for New Years Eve!!!
In the bathroom were diapers and other everyday things for the baby, as well as toiletries.
My parents say to this day that was one, if not the best Christmas they ever had!!!

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Vrinda December 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

That is very heart-warming and beautiful. Did your parents keep in touch with Bernie and Nana Lucy?

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Shoegal December 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

Oh my – what a wonderful story!!! Thanks for sharing that.

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Jays December 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

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@just4kicks December 24, 2015 at 5:57 am

@Everyone: thank you all for the nice comments! 🙂

And, yes we did keep in contact with Uncle Bernie and Nana Lucy up until they both passed.
They were wonderful people, and were very generous in many aspects.
I’m not a great cook, but I told my Mom when she passes I only want two recipes from the hundreds she’s collected over the years: her “Red velvet cake” and Nana Lucy’s banana nut bread.
What I wouldn’t give for a piece of that nut bread right now!

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@just4kicks December 24, 2015 at 6:05 am

….And may I add, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to ALL!!! 🙂

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MyWorld December 23, 2015 at 6:51 am

Someone that actually knew how to be a great house guest! It sounds like Mark was very low maintenance and saw a way to both help out and say thank you to a young struggling couple. And extra points to him, for trying to be subtle and do this while you and your fiance slept.

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crebj December 23, 2015 at 6:58 am

That was truly a thank you!

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Jennifer Blair December 23, 2015 at 7:51 am

What a wonderful story of friendship and love. Merry Christmas!

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Willynilly December 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

Between the OP and Just4Kicks’ story I am now crying. Both are truly beautiful stories of the true spirit of the holiday and of friendship in general.

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Michelle M. December 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

Exactly what I was going to say!

Tears–happy ones–over these beautiful stories…Thank you so much for sharing, OP and Just4Kicks!

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Marla Gelpi-Brown December 23, 2015 at 10:32 am

This, exactly.

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Amanda H. December 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm

I haven’t even started cutting these onions yet. Why am I tearing up so much?

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@just4kicks December 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

@Everyone: Thank you all so much!!!
My mom (and dad) still both get very emotional whenever they tell that story.
Happy holidays!!! 🙂

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Lerah99 December 23, 2015 at 8:53 am

This is a lovely story. It warms my heart.
I’m not crying. It’s just very dusty in here….

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magicdomino December 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Yeah, I noticed a little dust too. 🙂

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bap December 23, 2015 at 9:29 am

Thanks for making me cry at work! These are the stories that warm your heart and restore faith in the human race.

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Redneck Gravy December 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

Merry Christmas !

Thank you for sharing. That is what I call the true spirit of the holiday. Amen.

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abf December 23, 2015 at 10:12 am

Great stories. Thanks for sharing. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday!

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Devin December 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

I absolutely love this story. It reminds me of so many of my friends who always look out for each other when finances are tight or distances leave us feeling lonely. Though we are spread across the country, like your friend was, the care an compassion for one another is no less. Merry Christmas!!

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Dyan December 23, 2015 at 11:00 am

love this story…what a very special guy…

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ColoradoCloudy December 23, 2015 at 11:04 am

I love this story so much! God Bless Us, Every One

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LadyV December 23, 2015 at 11:28 am

Love to see stories like this around the holiday! So often, we hear the “bad guest” stories – it’s so nice to see one about a great guest!

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technobabble December 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

Somebody must be cutting onions in this room because I teared up a little.

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Dee December 23, 2015 at 11:45 am

Sounds as if Mark also felt gifted by the friendship of OP and her husband. The three of them being so gracious to each other despite having little to share that it inspired Mark to multiply the feelings. Bread, milk, meat, canned goods; sleeping, crowded, on a loveseat – how could these things be considered precious gifts? And yet they were, because of the givers and recipients. Those things given from the heart trump anything expensive or rare that can be purchased. Kudos to all in OP’s story.

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NostalgicGal December 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Almost every Christmas we’ve had one or both of us have been laid up or sick. (I am currently laid up with most of my left foot bearing stitches, broken toes and a big toenail that got blood blister ‘nailed’ 8 times in 10 days so it’s currently coming off-ALL separate incidents). The best or worst, is we were married and still in the college years, was supposed to go to the family Christmas and even drew names for the gift exchange and bought the gifts. We were sent bus money even so we could come. We both got the flu so bad he lived on water for six days if it’d stay down (student health center gave him a shot). I could hold down a LITTLE commodities dole powdered milk (a whole gallon in 8 days) and we had to call and basically say we were too sick to get out of bed. I did mail the gifts for mom to deal with. (we had our ‘Christmas dinner’, fried chicken with mixed veggies, cream soup and dumplings made in a frypan, we ate a few dumplings, the 29th.)

I got bronchitis again right after that so it was obvious we were not going to make it up there period. They said keep the bus money (enough to pay the rent for a month!)

Comes a Charmin box parcel post. It is full of things like a new winter coat for me, an insulated vest for hubby, bathrobes and slippers, other clothes (NO BABY PINK), and a gift certificate to a local grocery chain store we had there for $200 (more than our rent!), and one honker of a ripple afghan, I kid not, it was like 120″ x 120″. We lived too far away for them to visit so they did the next best thing. That was our worst and best Christmas so far (two for the price of one), We’re still mighty thankful for that one 30 years ago…

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CJ December 23, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Thank you for posting good stories, thank you!

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Liliane December 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Oh, that’s beautiful. 🙂

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Cerys December 23, 2015 at 3:56 pm

It’s at times like this that I really love the human race.

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Sarah December 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

What a wonderful friend!

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AIP December 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Thanks so much for posting (and for the others who shared similar); it’s so easy to focus on the negative stories and that the World is going to Hell in a handbasket (where it has been safely heading since God was in short trousers!), where is is infinitely more beauty, goodness and decency around us.

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Lady Macbeth December 30, 2015 at 2:17 am

These are amazing and lovely stories. Keep on being good, humanity.

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