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Thanks To A Friend

December 5, 2014

I want to say a very genuine thank you to A Friend.

But I don’t know who that friend is to thank them personally, so I’m shouting out a “thank you” on my blog and Facebook, and hoping that they get it.

This week I received an envelope in the mail with the following card message.  It reads, “Just thought it might CHEER you to know that someone’s been thinking of YOU…and wishing YOU brighter, better tomorrows.  (Signed) A Friend”.





As if that wasn’t kind enough, the card also included a $25 Shell Gas Station Gift Card.

Who sent the card and gift card?

I don’t know.  The card was just signed “A Friend”.  There was no return address on the envelop that was sent through the mail.  The stamp on it was postmarked with a Hermie-the-Elf-looking stamp (Hermie – the elf who accompanied Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in the Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer animated special) and was marked “S. Suburban, IL” as best I can make out.  So it could have been sent by any one of millions of benevolent people or elves in the Chicago south suburban area.


Why would I receive such a card and a gift?

I don’t know.  I received a similar generous anonymous gift several years ago while I was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce.  Maybe it was the same person who sent both gifts.  I imagine someone in my circle of friends, family or community know that I’ve been unemployed since April.  Maybe they even know that my unemployment benefits have expired and that I have no present source of income or benefits which is very worrisome to me.  Maybe they know that I’ve been struggling in recent years for various reasons.  Like Hermie, I feel a bit like a “misfit”   I didn’t fit into my ex-spouse’s plans.   I didn’t fit in my prior employer’s plans  I haven’t found the right fit with a new employer yet.  (Why am I such a misfit?  I am not such a nitwit!  I have an MBA degree with concentration of studies in Marketing and Human Resource Management, a BA in Business Administration and 20 years of experience in the Property and Casualty Insurance industry.  Surely some employer will hire me, right?  I just gotta believe and keep trying.  I believe…I believe…I believe.)

But why didn’t the friend give the card and gift card directly to me?

Perhaps I might be too proud and resist the gift?  Perhaps the friend might be too humble to accept a heart-felt and warm thanks directly?  Perhaps the friend just knows the Spirit of Christmas, the nature of true giving, and the pleasure of giving anonymously to those in need?

Whatever the case, isn’t the world a little nicer for this small act of kindness and generosity?

This time of year, Christmas season, is the time for giving.  Some people drop spare change in red kettles at store fronts as a token of good will to those they will never see.  Some people buy toys and drop them off for tots they will never know.  Some people buy and wrap gifts, dropping them off at churches for delivery to people in need they will never talk to.  And apparently, some people send nice cards and gifts through the mail to someone who will never get the chance to thank them for the sender’s kindness.

Santa Claus may be a symbol of generosity and benevolence.

Saint Nicholas may have a reputation for secret gift giving to those in dire need.

But the Spirit of Christmas in A Friend – a True Friend – may be the greatest gift of all.

If you are someone who is struggling right now…hang on…hope and help is on the way….you just gotta believe.

If you are someone who has plenty this year, be thankful, and consider following the example of A Friend.  There are people out there who are in need.  Consider sharing some of what you’ve received with others.   You can give it outright, or give it in secrecy anonymously, or just give generously in random kindness to someone in need.

You’ll feel great.  You’ll help someone.  You’ll lift a Spirit – and that is no small gift.

So, thank you, A Friend – for the card, the gift card, for your thoughtfulness, and for lifting my Spirit and the Spirit of all those who read this.  May God bless you, and inspire all who read this to be like you.

Merry Christmas!


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