Big tipper saves Christmas

It’s not officially the holiday season until there’s a story in the news about a generous tip bailing out a server who could use the help.

Why, here’s one now!

Trisha Murphy, single mother of four in Sullivan, Maine, who’s picking up shifts at the local Denny’s while carrying a course load at school, was fretting on Saturday. Her Christmas shopping wasn’t done, her car had been towed with a $735 bill and she’d barely made it to work on time.

Right around then, a customer with a $35 bill added a $500 tip, she writes on Facebook.

Yesterday morning, I was so stressed I could barely function. 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. I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off.

I can pick up a couple extra shifts and do some odd jobs. That would mean I’d have to pay extra for a sitter though. I couldn’t even concentrate at work. Regardless, I painted on a smile and acted like it was just another day.

Work was terribly dead and I thought for sure, I was screwed! I got this table, 3 men. They all looked a little grungy and judging by their demeanor, I figured a average tip. The older of the three kept asking me 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 be Santa.

I (like every other waitress) led him to believe I was married and kept on with pleasant, yet safely distant, conversation. When I gave him the bill, he told me I had to cash him out. 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! I looked up at this grungy looking man, my face as white as snow, and tears in my eyes. He just smiled again and said “merry Christmas dear”, and almost danced out of the restaurant. 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!

Related: $200K check lands in south metro Salvation Army red kettle (Star Tribune)