Sunday, April 21, 2024

Generosity lightens heaviness of holidays

| December 30, 2020 1:00 AM

In the annual re-telling of the first Christmas without my father (Main Street 12/23/20) I mentioned that every year since there's at least one unexpected "moment" that I know comes from him with a wink.

This year's heaviness weighed down the joy of the season for me. But a week before Christmas I received a wonderful gift. An older gentleman who is a most generous benefactor to many local charities sent an email asking for assistance. He wanted to anonymously provide for someone struggling financially, perhaps a single mother. He asked if I knew anyone who could use a little Christmas now.

I know a sweet, hardworking young single mother of two little ones and told him about her.

He and I met for breakfast and he gave me an envelope with 10 $100 bills to gift to her. A few days later I invited her for lunch and shared the story of the anonymous and generous stranger before giving her the envelope. Such happy tears all around!

Much like that Christmas Eve in Montana 16 years ago I felt my father smiling down on me. Another wink from my lifelong Santa.

That I know so many genuinely good people and that I received the blessing of being an intermediary elf for two of them is such a gift.

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An Irish tradition is on New Year’s Eve to open the back door to let the old year out, then open the front door to welcome in the new year. Sounds like a good plan to me!

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Although I've never been a fan of the participation trophy philosophy I'm willing to make an exception. Anyone still standing at midnight Dec. 31, 2020, deserves one!

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Happy birthday today to Paul Gorringe, Glenn Jacklin, Gayle Jacklin Stegmann, Marsha Dornquast, Nona Rambo, Bryce Raynor, Ilene Moss, Kalia Baltzell, Diane Ahlers, Dave Dutro and LeVenia Jacobson. New Year’s Eve birthdays belong to Cheryl Freeman, Kalia Baltzell, Sarah Chase, George Holcomb, Phyllis Koepsell, Shaun Leary, Sandy Thompson and Crystal Dean.

New Year’s Day has Theresa Wild, Edie Miller, Ron Jacobson, Billy Newman, Jan Leaf, Kathy Edinger Dingman, Linda Jordan, Kevin Johnson, Steve Schiller, Johanna Johnson, Jessica Hammond, David Attridge, Dianna Owens, Holly Childers, Katrina Boyer, Johanna Johnson, Declan Jones, Cheryl Shepherd, sisters Shaun Willams and Shana Crimp, all celebrating the first Main Street birthdays of 2021. On Saturday Bob McIlvenna, Cindy Warren, Nicole Barnes, Jerry Roth and Dion Unruh blow out the candles.

On Sunday Harvey Dougall, Katie Soy, Jeff Block and Erika Umphenour celebrate. On Monday Darrell Whitesitt, Debbie Ferguson, Andrew Hansen, Norman Tucker, Bert Storlie (60!) and Brandon Sutich blow out their candles. Wish a happy birthday on Jan. 5 to Marty Hayes (70!), Jamie Lynn Morgan (50!), Sherri Patton, Phil Eager, Thad Bolek, Timothy Barrett, Andrew Hansen, Dirk Darrow, Rick Gunther, Shaina Nomee and Debbie Raeon.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.