After Christmas Eve service, my family drove into downtown St. Paul and randomly handed out 15 Christmas Acts of Kindness — envelopes into which we tucked $5 gift cards, hand knit scarves or a kid’s book. We looked for people waiting at the bus stop, cleaning a deserted office building or simply walking in the cold. I, of course, was curious about their stories. Where was she going on the bus? Did he have his custodian job for awhile now?
Each one of our sightings and givings felt like a scene in a book, for example this one: She crossed the deserted streets of St. Paul on Christmas Eve, her shoulders hunched and her arms laden with tote bags, though they didn’t look to be holding gifts. Her own clothes perhaps? The wind was coming in sideways, sweeping snow into her path. She turned right at 4th Street, and sought shelter in the bus stop, thankful for the respite. Bags slid from her forearms and onto the bench. “Merry Christmas,” I said as I approached. She eyed me warily. “A little something for you.” I said. The bus pulled up, and she pushed my envelope into the side of her bag. “Thank you,” she said and turned to go.
Who was she? Where was she going? To see whom?
For fifteen minutes, finish this Christmas story, by writing about what happened once this lady boarded the bus. Would she ride all night? Going to her daughter’s house? Did she open the envelope and find the scarf? Merry Christmas to you and yours!