The older we get, the more difficult it can be to remember the true point of the holidays. But a stranger's simple gesture of buying a plush Minnie Mouse doll for UK mom Abigail Crewe's 4-month-old daughter, Georgia, put things back into perspective for us. And it had very little to do with the gift itself.
Crewe shared the details of the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) encounter on Facebook that detailed her shopping trip with her sister. The story has been shared more than 30,000 times, with close to 200,000 likes (at the time this posted) on her personal account alone. The story has also been shared on the Spotted Yorkshire Facebook page.
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The caption reads, in part:
We smiled and made polite conversation. We walked further down the Christmas gifts where he was stood and he held out his hand with some money and pointed to the Disney teddies and insisted he buy one for her. I quickly denied this generous offer but he insisted and went on to tell us that he lost his wife 18 months prior and she loved Mickey Mouse. He went on to say he has no family of his own and all he wanted to do was buy a Christmas gift for somebody. So we let him buy a Minnie mouse for her.
The mother went on to add how "truly full of love" her heart was after the incident and how it will be a Christmas story that she shares with her little girl "every year when she asks what Christmas is all about."
Upon reading the story, I shared the same sentiment. My heart just melted, because not only does it reaffirm my faith in humanity -- as most unexpected gestures of kindness do -- but it also reminds us that the holidays are about kindness, giving (not always in a monetary form), and most of all, family.
Sadly, that realization is also what broke our hearts while reading the story -- realizing that he no longer had a family to share the most wonderful time of the year with.
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But needless to say, this story comes at a perfect time as we prepare to sit around the table and share what it is that we're most thankful for in life. It's a much-needed reminder of what we ought to give thanks for -- especially in what seems to be a tough time in the world.
There are likely other people in the world who don't have immediate family at this time of year, but I think we can also learn from this guy that family are simply the people that you choose, and it comes in so many different forms. Giving to someone else's little girl seemed to bring him a joy reminiscent of his own family -- specifically his late wife, who loved Mickey. In fact, he may have even made some new friends to share the holidays with as Crewe, according to the Sun, says she reached out to the sweet man with a hand-delivered thank-you note and her address to keep in touch.
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Hopefully, as we kick off the holiday season, this story will continue to serve as an eye-opening reminder to cling to things a little less and family a lot more.