Granted, the lottery win was small and the pay-it-forward deed was too, but everyone who saw it happen had a big smile on their face.  Tis the season for generosity in East Texas.  

It was by chance that I ended up in the customer service line at the grocery store on Friday, and in fact, if I hadn't had the snafu with a digital coupon not working I would have missed this gem of a pay-it-forward moment completely.  The customer service counter at this store was one of those that handled numerous things, like utility payments, lottery tickets, wiring money, and even car registrations.

It was hard to tell exactly what was happening at first.  The transaction ahead of me involved a little old lady in a bright purple dress with black glasses and thick black platform heels, and she had a stack of government papers with her.  There was a random guy standing next to the little old lady that didn't belong to her.  And the worker behind the customer service counter had a huge grin on her face and seemed to be loving every minute of it.  It took several minutes for me to piece together what was happening, but when I finally did, I wanted to hug the random guy standing next to her.

The little old lady had apparently lost her husband within the past year because this was her first time handling the car registration by herself, she said.  Judging by the size of the stack of papers that she brought with her she brought more than she needed, but when it came time to pay the fee she was well short.  Than random guy next to her at the counter happened to be the next one in line, and he walked up to pay the bill for her.  That made the little old lady's day, and the customer service rep was all smiles too.

After the little old lady collected her stack of papers and shuffled off on her way, the guy told me he just happened to be there at that time collecting $500 cash that he had won on a lottery scratch-off ticket, and he put some of his winnings toward the woman's bill.  He won that day in so many ways.

I want to do more stuff like that!  I did say yes to adding $3.97 onto my bill at the register to help a children's charity this Christmas, but that took no effort and no sacrifice on my part.  I can do better.

I bet the opportunities to pay-it-forward in East Texas are there if we would just look a little harder.  I'm guilty of being in my own little world a lot, and too consumed with my to-do list while other people like the random guy at the customer service counter are looking around ready to do something great.  Now I'm inspired to do a better job of finding pay-it-forward moments the rest of this holiday season and in 2020 too.

Happy holidays!  Once again I'm seeing that the richest experiences are not hiding under the tree.