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SALT LAKE CITY — It seems like this Christmas has come quicker than most and is about to end the same way. I have been feeling badly that I haven't done much to enjoy the holiday.
It really hasn't felt much like Christmas at all — until last Wednesday night.
I work as a waitress part time. Wednesday was very busy night and I was scrambling to keep up with the demands of a full restaurant. A couple in their early 30s came in and was shown to a back corner booth. As I approached the couple they told me a little story about themselves.
Years ago they struggled financially. However, they were celebrating a special occasion and they had decided to go out for dinner. At the conclusion of dinner, the waitress informed them that someone had paid for their dinner.
"It was Christmas at the time," the couple told me. "Because of that experience we do the very same thing every year at Christmas time for someone else, anonymously."
I was, of course, on board with the idea. I told them to let me know when they had chosen the table and I would make sure I got them that patron's bill.
When I came back a little while later, the couple pointed out a cute young family with twin boys. They informed me that was who they had chosen. I smiled. The interesting thing about this family was that the boys had been a little rambunctious and some people were complaining. My manager even debated asking them to leave. I asked him not to and to please give me a minute to get their food out to them. I knew once the children had their food they would probably be fine.
I was thrilled when the couple in the back chose this particular family. I thought it ironic and wonderful that instead of being kicked out and feeling angry and terrible, this couple would go home with a wonderful feeling of Christmas.
Later, I went up to the family with the twin boys and explained that someone had paid for their meal. I also told them the couple's story without divulging who they were. The wife got very emotional and both she and her husband were shocked and touched. So much so, that they decided they would pay it forward.
I left and when I came back they told me that they had picked a random couple in the restaurant — a restaurant that was full — to pay it forward and pay for their meal.
I smiled as they sneakily pointed the table out to me. It was my table in the corner. The family had no idea and I didn't tell them that they had chosen the very couple that had paid for their meal. The family thanked me and left with huge grins on their faces.
When I returned to my corner booth I told them what had happened. They were shocked and then emotional at what had occurred. I too was emotional, but not shocked.
That's just how Christmas goes. It has a way of finding its way in, sometimes at the last minute. I'm grateful it found me that night.
Merry Christmas everybody. Kate Lee is a Utah native and mother of three. You can read more of her writing at www.momentsofchunder.blogspot.com Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org