Christmas is normally my favorite time of year.

But between some personal stress and the weather here in Texas, it’s been hard to really feel in the Christmas spirit.

This past weekend, I went to Painting with a Twist with a friend. I’ve always wanted to learn to paint, and it felt good to finally do something about that.

Our instructor mentioned they were doing an initiative called Painting for a Purpose, where they sell paintings and give the money to charity. My friend and I looked through the bins on our break and I saw these companion paintings.


Even though I am making some extra money this month, I need to use it to pay off expenses, but I commented how much I liked the paintings and that I would buy them if I could.

Before we left, my friend asked whether I was sure I didn’t want to buy them. I looked in the bins and they were gone, which I took as a sign I wasn’t supposed to have them.

Then, the woman across the table with whom we’d been chatting tapped my friend on the shoulder, producing the paintings. She said we seemed like such good friends she wanted us to have them.

This is why I love Christmas. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 12 years old, and in some ways I still do. If we let it, Christmas can bring out the best in people. Anyone who sees the goodness in others and responds to it with joy IS Santa, if only for that moment.

All that peace on Earth, good will towards (wo)men business. It’s real if we believe it is.

So I want to thank that woman for restoring my faith in humanity. People can be good, kind, and generous. We can take care of one another. We can allow ourselves to receive the gifts that are given to us, and we can share our bounty with others.

I can’t think of a more beautiful and touching Christmas present than these paintings. I feel good knowing I can look at them every day and remember a time that a stranger decided to do something kind for someone she had just met. A tangible reminder that our nature is love, and all that other stuff has just gotten in the way.

May I always reach out to my neighbor just as those branches reach out for one another in the dead of night.

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. I hope someone restores your faith in humanity this holiday season, too.

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