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Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone - Charles Schulz.

By Barbara Manley Edds

Christmas may be over for this year, but the memories of certain events will last a long time. As I visited with the many of the shopkeepers recently, I was made profoundly aware of the power of the spirit of giving.

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in downtown La Grange in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with commercialism. Yes, commercialism is important to the shopkeepers, their shops, after all, are their livelihoods. However, those shops are owned and operated by some pretty wonderful people.

Names will not be mentioned, but I would like to use this space to tell some Main Street Christmas stories… You probably didn’t hear, but there is a certain bookseller who did not have and could not get a particular book for a customer’s daughter by Christmas. One of the young ladies who works for the bookseller happened to have a copy of the book at home and brought it in and gave it to the customer.

There is a certain person affiliated with a toy store, who, as she listened to a local radio station, heard a story about a family who had gone out shopping, and their little girl had left behind her “Mimi.” Mimi is a very special blanket that she took with her everywhere and slept with every night. The family was quite distressed because they did not think they could find or get another Mimi. The certain person at the toy store found she could get another “Mimi” in time for Christmas, so she called the radio station. The little girl and her father came out on Christmas Eve and she was given a new Mimi. 

There is another story about a consignment store that “adopted” a young couple that was unable to go back home for the holidays. They not only gathered together a bag of gifts, one of the ladies who works there had the couple over to her house for Christmas dinner. 

A call came into City Hall from a woman who was having a rough time and did not have gifts for her four children. Word got to the owner of a café/gift shop on Main Street and that’s all it took to set some wheels in motion. Miraculously, gifts and money started to arrive from shop owners and even a man who was visiting from Texas and just happened to be there having lunch and gave some money. Others who also just happened to be there gave to the cause as well.

I realize the random acts of kindness that happen here are no different from those around the county or other Main Streets across the country. It also needs to be said that these same people do not need the Christmas season to help others. They do these sorts of things all through the year.

I personally am thankful that historic downtown is blessed with loving, giving people with huge hearts who truly care; people who have daily struggles of their own, but take the time to help someone in need. These are people worth discovering and getting to know. 

Find out more about Discover Downtown La Grange at www.discoverlagrange.org.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.