Christmas comes but once a year, but some folks just can't help themselves.
They keep on giving all year long.
The ones I admire the most are those who do it quietly, generously and entirely from the heart.
Like Linda Spring and Crystal Dennis of Bishop Hill's Filling Station restaurant, a place that devotes so much time and talent for the benefit of others, that you've gotta wonder when they find a chance to do much for themselves.
We loaded up our North Carolina kids and grandkids for a trip to the historic colony Tuesday morning for the Filling Station's holiday "on the house" biscuit and gravy breakfast thanking customers for their patronage throughout the year. But the Filling Station ladies couldn't resist a chance to do something good for someone else, too, with attendees asked to consider making a free will donation to the community driven fund for little Ella Berry, who was born in September with a congenital heart defect and remains hospitalized.
The food was great.
So was the cause.
It's just the latest in a seemingly unending string of events sponsored by the restaurant that has included benefits for local cancer victims and others facing catastrophic illnesses, plus the Honor Flight Network, and a long, long list of other good causes, including next Wednesday's breakfast that will see them team up with Compton Accounting for the benefit of the local food pantry.
"I think if you have a chance to help, you ought to," said Spring. "I don't feel like we do that much. We're just a vehicle that allows people to be generous. It's amazing how much people will do."
Like you, ladies. Just like you.
One of the best things about the weather we've been having is watching our southern-born grandchildren (and daughter-in-law) as they see and experience real winter for the first time. Four-year-old Cyrus pelted me with his first-ever snowball moments after their arrival on Saturday, while young John Patrick so far prefers eating the stuff to throwing it. They've plunged right into the season, trying ice skating, sledding, snowball fights, snowman building and all the other snow-related activities us yankees take for granted. They've also experienced near-froze noses and toes, which, if not as enjoyable, are certainly part of the wintertime package, especially when countered with grandma’s hot chocolate and warm kisses.
We're anticipating the arrival of the northern Minnesota contingent, a winter-hardened bunch who will probably consider our version of the season a paltry effort, indeed. But we and the southerners look forward to luring those Minnesotans to the Carolina beaches later this year, where they'll have a chance to experience something new for them: A summer that actually lasts more than a week and a half
It’s hard to imagine something more wonderful than having children and grandchildren home for Christmas. We know that it might not always be that way, as jobs, schedules, commitments, distance and weather all play a part in making it tough for us to get our wish every year. I asked my favorite Christmas elf what she wanted for Christmas the other day, and she looked at me in surprise.
“I’m already getting the only present I want,” she said.
I know who she meant...and I know what she means.