An End-of-the-Year Surprise

What could be more surprising than receiving a present from a complete stranger?

My younger sister had similar experience when she was a child. A lady, who was a stranger to us, successfully lifted a stuffed animal from a plush toy crane machine at Walmart in Hudson, NY. She turned around and saw my sister watching her. Without a second thought, she gave the toy to my sister—an act that had not only lighten up my little sister’s mood for days that followed, but also become a memory that she cherishes for the rest of her life.

At the age of 23, I never would have expected to encounter something like this myself; and yet, it happened to me yesterday at Kmart in Ithaca, NY. I was waiting for my father and brother at the lobby of the store with my sister. We were talking (in Cantonese) about the toys and stuff that we would love to get from the two crane machines when a gentleman passed by and searched in his pocket for change. We moved out of the way to let him play with the plush toy machine. It is always interesting to watch people play and therefore we stood behind and watched him maneuver the claw. It became apparent that he was aiming for one of the stuffed animals that I wanted—an adorable 15-inch Sugar Loaf cow. Just by the look of it, I could tell the animal was very soft.
The claw hit the animal’s head and went right down beside the animal. Thinking he had just missed it, the gentleman turned around and let out a disappointing “Aww…” while we looked on and saw that as the claw lifted, one of hooks got the tag. My sister pointed it out to him enthusiastically, “You got it!” He looked back at the machine. Along with a few shoppers who gathered around and watched, we witnessed the claw slowly dragged the animal toward the outlet. I just rode an emotional roller coaster. I was really happy for him. I was glad that he succeeded and showed his joy through a big smile. That was exactly what I wanted to see every time I watched someone play with the crane machine.

As I thought that was the end of the story, I was pleasantly surprise when the gentleman turned around, looked at me and said, “This is for you. It’s a holiday gift. Happy Holidays!”

“Thank you…Really?” I couldn’t believe what I just heard.

“Yeah!” he said. I was amazed..

“Thank you! Thank you so much!”

The gentleman made my day. I had never expected a total stranger would ever give me a gift. If the gentleman happens to read this blog post, I hope he would know how thankful I am. He had given me a cute present for which I had wished. Most importantly, his action brought me plenty of joy and good wishes. I hope to share my happiness by doing the same to others. It is the gift of giving that makes life meaningful.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. renxkyoko
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 20:02:54

    That’s such a wonderful story. !!!!



  2. sylviachow
    Dec 31, 2010 @ 23:37:00

    Thank you! 🙂



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