"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

                                 --William Morris (English textile designer, poet, novelist and social activist)

Today I'm putting the finishing touches on my dining room and I'm hanging a painting made even more beautiful by the story behind its delivery.

I was at HomeGoods picking up a few last minute things for our Thanksgiving celebration and I found IT--the painting my dining room was missing. It's hand painted and bold, modern and sophisticated and just what the room needed. Try as he might the sales associate couldn't fit the huge work in my tiny car. As we headed back into the store a woman who had been watching us asked where I lived. She said, "That's on my way home. If the painting fits in my car, I would be happy to bring it to your house!"

I have written a children's book encouraging families to perform acts of Christmas Kindness, but never has a stranger offered to do something so kind for me. As we slid the painting into her truck and entered my address into her GPS, I kept thinking, "Who does this?" When she closed her trunk a decal gave me the answer. Thank you Jessica Flanagan, the Marine from Missouri.

- Lu Ann