A Bit of Good News - "Christmastime is when love and kindness shine at their brightest"
December 6, 2023 - Vol. 2, Issue 44
Kindness, just because...
A group of diners were so impressed with the service they recently received at Monarca, a Mexican restaurant in Salt Lake City, that they thanked the entire staff by leaving a $10,000 tip. At the request of the 24-person party, the table's server received $2,000:
"This kindness act has not only lifted our spirits but has also provided us with the means to continue striving towards excellence in our culinary endeavors," the restaurant noted on its Instagram page.
Michael McHenry and his friends have made an annual tradition out of giving a big tip to stellar restaurant staff. But the tip they left at Monarca was their biggest one yet.
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Welcome to the world
Just one year after the kiwi was reintroduced to New Zealand's capital, two kiwi hatchlings have been born in the wild there. Their arrival is believed to be a first for the endangered and flightless bird in more than 100 years.
"This is a massive milestone for our goal of building a wild population of kiwi on Wellington's back doorstep," Capital Kiwi Project founder Paul Ward told Radio New Zealand. "It is a wonderful Christmas present for Wellingtonians, and the ultimate in thanks for our iwi (mana whenua and gifting), landowners and local communities that have supported the project so passionately."
Although 12 million kiwi once roamed New Zealand, the bird’s numbers have dropped to about 68,000 due to predators and habitat loss. Conservation efforts are currently underway to turn the tide and it is hoped that the birth of these babies is just the beginning. Another 18 brown kiwi chicks are expected to hatch soon.
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The holiday hero
Adults will sometimes tell kids that the things you learn in school don't matter in the real world. You won’t find a reason to recite that poem you memorized or to use the quadratic equation. I disagree. You never know when a skill, story, fact or formula will come in handy.
A 15-year-old sophomore in Southern California learned that lesson last month.
On Thanksgiving, the adults in Madison Atkinson's family were inside the house cooking while the children played outside. What the adults didn't realize was that 3-year-old Maxine had gotten into the backyard and was checking out the pool.
A few minutes later, Maxine's uncle walked outside and found the toddler face down in the water. He immediately jump in, pulled her out of the pool and yelled for help.
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Dave Plays Santa
I'm a huge fan of the old CBC radio program, "The Vinyl Cafe," which was hosted by the late, great Stuart McLean. How big of a fan? Well, I own all the CDs. I own all of the books. I attended two of his Christmas shows (one in the U.S. and one in Canada). I used one of his stories in my wedding vows. And I've been a subscriber to the podcast, "Backstage at the Vinyl Cafe,” hosted by his long-suffering producer Jess Milton, since it launched in 2021. If you enjoy listening to good stories, check it out.
In the meantime, here's a Christmas classic about Canada’s favorite fictional family:
LAST WEEK’S POLL
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
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* Baking dozens of Christmas cookies
* Secret Santa gift giveaways
* Singing my favorite holiday songs
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." --Andy Rooney
MOMENT OF GRATITUDE
Thanks to Richelle E. Goodrich (who provided the quote for the subject line), Sam Dan Truong, Unsplash, KSLTV.com, Instagram, Monarca, Business Insider, Apple News, The Capital Kiwi Project, Radio New Zealand, The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Jen King, YouTube, The Today Show, the American Red Cross, KABC, The Vinyl Cafe, CBC News, Apple Podcasts, the Apostrophe Podcast Network, Backstage at The Vinyl Cafe, the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, Zainab Mlongo and Deposit Photos for inspiration, art and story suggestions.
And congratulations to Stephanie G, a paid subscriber to A Bit of Good News. Her name was randomly selected in our monthly giveaway. The December prize? A $25 gift certificate to Bookshop.org. Thank you for your support!
KEEP IN TOUCH
Read a positive/uplifting news story lately? Have an inspiring quote you want to share? Or do you just want to let me know about some of your favorite simple pleasures?
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