Christmas Hope at Waffle House

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I share this not to brag about what we did, but an idea to bless others.

I grew up with one of my parents typically leaving on Christmas day to go work.  My dad would work afternoons/nights at a local hotel as a desk clerk.  My mom had a few jobs that required her to work the holiday.  Our normal Christmas was to open presents and then go to a restaurant for lunch.  My big Christmas meal was spent at Shoneys, IHOP, Chinese, or another local place that would be opened for the holiday.  When we lived a good amount of restaurants were opened on Christmas.

I often felt bad for the waitress or waiters that we had on that day.  They had to leave their family to come wait a table at Shoneys.  That never seemed fair to me.

As I’ve gotten older I realized that most of those folks needed those hours.  Many are getting the best tips they do all year long during those holiday hours.  Almost all are getting paid time and a half or even double time for those hours.  It is true that those businesses are making good money, but by staying open they are helping their employees not miss a significant portion of income that month.  It is also true that none of them want to work Christmas but most of them need to work Christmas.

About three weeks ago I was thinking of my holiday experiences and all those waiters and waitresses.  I knew I wanted to communicate to my kids how blessed they are that their dad and mom doesn’t have to leave to work at a job.  I  wanted them to know that we are blessed to be a blessing.

I asked Jennifer what she thought of going to Waffle House and giving our waitress a gift. I told her what I wanted to communicate to our kids and the opportunity to bless someone that was working on Christmas.  She loved the idea.

After opening gifts we loaded up the kids and headed to Waffle House.  It was total chaos.  The busiest I’ve ever seen a Waffle House and we’ve been during busy times!  They seated us quickly and we ordered our food.

We had my older daughter give the waitress a Christmas card with my business card and a $20 bill.  My wife started talking to her about her Christmas.  She has 3 kids and is expecting another in the next few months.  She was able to get the lunch shift so she could celebrate Christmas with her young kids early this morning.

My kids were crazy so I was thankful that we gave her a card with money and we tipped too!  It was a good experience and gave meaning to our meal.  My hope is that this also encouraged our waitress as she served today.  We try to treat others as we would want to be treated.  If I were giving up time with my kids on Christmas to work at Waffle House, I’d hope someone would bless me with good tips and cards.

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