I know that Christmas is a Time for Giving, But…

Nativity 3Last week, after finishing our third day of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, John and I stopped by the grocery store. While checking our goods through, the cashier asked, “Would you be interested in donating to the local food bank?”


We politely declined , “Sorry. Next time.”

Although she said, “No problem.” Her withering gaze said something else,

“What a couple of stingy A@@ H$%^#s!.

John and I blushed with shame. I rushed to explain, “Actually, these ten items are our donation to a food bank in Ladysmith… For the Cinnamon Fun Run… On Sunday.


Her eyes did not soften. They turned into ice.

I whispered to John, “Let’s give her one of the cans.

John whispered back, “Then we’ll have to line up again and it’s rush hour in here. We’re good.”

We hastened to pack our groceries, but a perky young girl, who was raising money for her dance team, beat us to it. Making sure Miss Cashier witnessed our generosity, we dropped 2 bucks into the jar. The guy behind us threw in five bucks.

“S#$%!!! “

“Oh my God John. I am so uncomfortable right now. I am having the mother of all mothers of a hot flash. My entire body is dripping in sweat. Let’s go back and add three more dollars.

“Shelley, leave it. Next time we come back, we’ll give her five.”

We slinked towards the exit, but as luck would have it, four Salvation Army Officers were guarding the doors.


John added a Toonie to their collection. They smiled their thanks, but now being super duper paranoid, I swear I could hear their thoughts.


“A Toonie? You are not getting into Heaven with a Toonie, buster. A snowball in Hell would have a better chance than you.

Even though we’ve continued to donate money to various causes since then, and throughout the year, we can’t shake the guilty feeling that we don’t give enough or often enough. 

Until tonight.


Tonight, we went to the “FOOD. SHELTER. MUSIC.” night at the Waverly Hotel in Cumberland, Vancouver Island. According to “What’s on” the entrance fee for the annual money raiser was food donations. However, as we were waiting to donate our cans of food, the woman working the door remarked to the couple ahead of us, ” We will gladly accept food, a money donation or both.” The husband gave her his food, quickly dug into his wallet and passed over five dollars.

Rookie mistake.

The Smiths handed over a twenty.


Shelley and John


4 thoughts on “I know that Christmas is a Time for Giving, But…

  1. November I went down to the store, and I bought six turkeys ($25 each) and gave them to the Jesus House, didn’t get so much as a thank you, acted like I was imposing on them for asking them to unload the items from my car.

    Gave a Marine (wounded warriors) $20 and got a nod of the head.

    Now ask me why I won’t be giving next time?

    I don’t care what they think.



    • My dad says, should have gotten a tax receipt. Volunteering for Habitat a different experience. No matter how terrible John and I are, they appreciate every time we show up. Maybe that’s the way to go. Thanks for dropping by.


      • John and Shelley, you already know how I feel about the two of you and the time you’ve put in with Habitat….however, I feel the need to tell you again. Your generosity overwhelms me. You did not know me before this, and yet there you were, hammering away, building a home for myself and 5 other families you didn’t know. That speaks volumes to my heart. Sometimes I am overcome with the emotion of it all…I will forever be grateful to you both (and to the other volunteers who have put in many many hours on this project). I don’t know how I will ever be able to repay the favour but I promise you both that I will pay it forward somehow, someday.


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