A Time For Giving Hugs

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I have a feel-good Christmas story for you, my Friends!

I encountered Mary Smith at the Independent grocery store on Tuesday of this week, right after finishing the weekly cooking class upstairs in the store.

I was heading for a cart to do some grocery shopping, and there she stood…..at the entrance way, surrounded by the pretty reds of bountiful potted poinsettias…..her red Salvation Army tunic blending in so well.

Mary stood there, jingling those Christmas bells with great cheer and a smile on her face, and welcomed me with “Would you like a hug?”

Of course, you can well imagine my response to that one! Hahaha!

Who turns down a hug, especially when greeted with such warmth and kindness?

And it was a great hug!

And since I actually happened to have a goodly amount of change on me, I pulled out my wallet to donate into the well-recognizable, dangling Salvation Army depositor.

She immediately got all serious on me and said that wasn’t WHY she had offered the hug. Simply put, she just enjoys welcoming people and sharing good will and good cheer. I could sense that. And I reassured her that I didn’t feel any obligation. But that I wanted to give. Plus, she could always give me another hug?

Which she did!

Well, as you might have guessed, Mary and I hit it off. Of course, I didn’t know her name from the start…..that all came out in the course of our conversation, as I spent a good deal of time with her…..yep….chatting. And also stopping from time to time, as she greeted other customers with hugs and smiles.

At first we started out with small talk…..and then she talked more and more. I guess she felt I was a kindred spirit.  A little bit of her life poured out.

I enjoyed listening to her lilting Scottish inflections as she talked. She talked about living hereabouts and also before she immigrated from the homeland. A good sense of humour. And a feisty side to her, I could also detect. Sometimes she revealed some sadder experiences in her life. And every here and there, I’d give her another hug.

Yep, it was a modest little love fest.

And I think it touched us both and we parted the better for it.

 

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