Ringing in Good Behavior

December 18, 2014 8:20 PM

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Standing in the checkout line at HomeGoods, I carefully inspected the items in my cart. I'd found gifts for all three of my daughter's teachers, my sister-in-law, and several stocking stuffers for my husband. I estimated that I'd overspent my budget by about 20 dollars. Luckily, my internal monologue kicked in and justified the added expense by reasoning that I was "done spending" and therefore wouldn't need to drive to any more stores. I ignored the other half of my brain which tried reminding me that I was at a strip mall. Yes, I wasn't "overspending" I was actually saving money... on gas.

That's when I heard the ringing of a cheerful bell, followed by the pleasant clapping of the cashiers. An announcement over the loudspeaker informed store customers that the "bell and claps" were for donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It was a genuinely sweet noise. I found myself g...

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