A Stranger In A Restaurant 'Saves Christmas' For Single Mom

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook/Trisha Murphy

This kind of no-fanfare generosity will restore your faith in humanity

For many parents, the holidays can be tough on the finances — especially for single parents. Which is why what one stranger did for one single mom is all the more heartwarming.

Trisha Murphy, a single mom of four children, recently shared an experience with a stranger she now calls “Santa” for the generous act of kindness he bestowed upon her right before Christmas. What started out as an ordinary day at work as a waitress ended up changing her family’s entire holiday.

“Yesterday morning, I was so stressed I could barely function,” Murphy wrote. “Most of my Christmas shopping wasn’t done, my car got towed to Bangor (with a $735 bill on its head), and there’s only a week until Christmas.” So she went into work, tried to pick up a few extra shifts, but the restaurant was dead.

“I thought for sure, I was screwed,” she wrote. Anyone who’s worked in the food service industry knows those days. Those slow, awful days where you’re lucky if you walk out of there with $25 in your pocket — and they always, always seem to occur when you’re desperate for a busy shift.

Murphy said her next table consisted of three men, one of whom kept asking her about Christmas. “I just told him I’m in it for my kids, but besides that, I don’t really get into it all that much. He joked that he’d come to be Santa.”

She politely laughed it off and told him she was married (again, any woman who’s ever worked in service knows you end up delivering this line pretty regularly). She says she had a pleasant conversation with the table, then delivered the check.

“When I gave him the bill, he told me I had to cash him out,” she said. “I let him know that the hostess does that. He insisted I go to the register and cash him out. I thought it a little odd, but obliged anyway. When he put his card in, he had a huge, ear to ear, smile. The receipt printed and I almost collapsed!”

Image via Trisha Murphy

The man’s total came to $38.49. Which means, if you’re not a garbage human, a 20% tip should be about $7 or so. But not for this guy — he left Murphy a whopping $500. She said she had tears in her eyes while she thanked him. “He came back in to make sure I didn’t have a heart attack. I still might! I don’t know this man’s name, but I hope he realizes that he literally saved Christmas for my children and I! Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa!”

Image via Trisha Murphy

For many people, $500 can change the trajectory of someone’s entire month. Especially during the holidays — and especially for this mom of four (plus one foster child). Murphy says she’s since found out the identity of her “Santa” but he wishes to remain anonymous.

“I’m very happy with the reaction to my post,” Murphy tells Scary Mommy. “I love that people are seeing that there are genuinely good people in the world.”

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