Sometimes you’re reminded of things at the right time, and this was the reminder I needed.

My partner and his kids have got COVID. They’re all okay for now which is great. However, it does mean our festive week of fun is cancelled. We were going to see the Christmas Lights at Springfields, and Elf Workshop day, Ghostbusters at the Key Theatre, dinner made by a local chef, Christmas Eve boxes and then our Christmas Day on 24th December, before they went back to their mums.

I was properly sulking. While still testing negative we couldn’t go to Belton Christmas Lights and the Festive Railway trip I’d booked my partner. We couldn’t celebrate my friend’s birthday and I wouldn’t be able to see my grandparents on Christmas Day – again!

As I was still testing negative, I thought I should pop to the shops and stock up. I got to the till and the lady in front of me had a small child. She had tinsel in her hair and was clearly very excited about the upcoming Christmas fun. She had lots of cheap, reduced and ‘value’ items. As she placed everything on the till, she said to the cashier to hold back the crackers as she wasn’t sure she could afford them.

At this point I was looking around near me for something to get for the Food Bank collection. This is always something I want to do, but often forget! I overheard her ask about the Christmas crackers and decided that I would just buy those for her if she couldn’t afford them.

Everything went through and she thought she could get the Christmas crackers too.

It was time to pay. At this point she presented voucher after voucher. However, the cashier told her that she had too many vouchers. Apparently, this exceeded the number of vouchers she was allowed to use. When I say vouchers, I don’t mean like BOGOF vouchers. These were what I can only presume were food vouchers from the government or a charity!?!

So, the final voucher was declined, and she was 77p short. She told the cashier that she only had 15p in her bank account. At this point her young daughter was getting bored and wandering around. The mother was getting upset and I quickly stepped forward.

“Would it be okay if I could pay the outstanding amount, please?”

The woman turned to me in complete shock, with tears in her eyes and she couldn’t thank me enough. She hugged her daughter and told her what I had done, adding that this was what a ‘good person’ looked like. The mother cried, I cried, and the cashier cried. I just said “Happy Christmas”.

Yes, my Christmas Day will be rubbish, but we will still have it a few days later. This was the reminder I needed that things really weren’t that bad. I hope my kindness, although very very small, will be the reminder she needed that there are kind people out there.