$10.00
Yet Another Christmas Give-Away
Josh Martin
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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To put things simply, I've been inspired by the various other acts of generosity that have cropped up on this site recently, and I want to participate. As much as I loved getting games, the best part of the Secret Santa experience for me was knowing I brightened another person's day for even a moment.

To me, that's what Christmas is about. As you can tell from my microbadges, I don't believe in the religious aspects, but one area that I would hope we can all agree on--regardless of our individual beliefs--is that it is important to take at least one moment of the year and reflect on the good that we are able to do in other people's lives. Especially in this past year, where I know a few people who have lost their jobs, it's important to recognize that we're all in this together.

So, in that spirit, I will be giving away a game to one person. You don't need to give me thumbs. You don't need to tip me. All you need to do is share one random act of kindness that you either witnessed or participated in during this past year. I'll add a couple items to get things rolling.

On December 18th, I'll randomly pick one person that shared a story (the quality of the story doesn't affect your chances, but you can't win if you don't have something to share). That person will name a game they want, up to a value of $100, and I will order it for them.
This is open to anywhere in the world, and I will cover shipping.

Edit: The thought occurred to me that there may be people with good stories to share that feel they don't need to try and win a game. So, I want to encourage those people to still add their stories and participate, then either just geekmail me to let me know you don't want to be included in the give-away, or just say so in your post.

The drawing is over!
Congratulations to
Dr. UDO
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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But, more importantly, thank you to everyone that shared stories. It's been great reading all of these.
Happy Holidays to all!
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26. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1630]
Jack
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
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I buy larger lots of gaming stuff, keep the pieces I want for myself, and sell of the rest online. There was a point earlier this year when I ended up with a lot of duplicate D&D miniatures so I posted them and this one person bought a bunch of them. After sending them an invoice, they replied that the minis were a gift for their son's birthday and they are currently having some tough times, so could I reduce the shipping. Despite the fact that I get these types of e-mails from time to time (most of which my cynical mind thinks are baloney), this one felt sincere. Now, I was just trying to get rid of the things, so I tell the buyer that I'll ship them free. Now, it only put me out like $5 or $6 and I had made my initial investment back on the sale of the figures so it was no big deal to me. As I'm packing them up, I spot about a dozen extra common/uncommon minis that I had laying around. I toss them in with a little note saying, "Here's a little bonus for your son!" I'm a very generous person with my loved ones, but not quite so much at all with strangers or even acquaintances. Anyways, I sent the package off without giving it another thought. A few days later, I get an email from the buyer telling me how I made their son's birthday and how thankful they were. It was the smallest of gestures (and cost me so little $), but brought some added happiness to someone's birthday. It touched me quite a bit.
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27. Board Game: On the Underground [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:636]
Pasi Lallinaho
Finland
Helsinki
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We were on our honeymoon to London. We sat down in one of the Tube trains. Londoners and anybody who has visited London probably knows there is some planned closures on some of the lines, especially at weekends.

And of course it was a weekend and two of the lines were closed - the circle line (yellow) and the district line (green) - only the central part though. We were traveling form Earl's Court to east and happened to hear some older people wondering on how to get to the Tower Bridge, since those stations were closed. They were totally lost.

Nobody helped. No one even tried to, except some other older tourists, who were also totally lost and didn't understand what was going on.

Still quiet. No locals around, I suppose?

Being the second time into London and also being *very* interested in the Tube system and especially the maps, I decided to hop in and I explained how they could get into the Tower Bridge. I suppose it saved their day.

In addition to the good spirit I got, I also bought 'On the Underground' with me from a FLGS.
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28. Board Game: Wheaties Sports Trivia Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
The Games Are About Glory
United States
Macedon
New York
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A girl in our dojo was very recently diagnosed as being allergic to gluten. While I was talking to her about it, she made the comment, "I'm still going to want the Oreos, I just can't eat them anymore." It was at that point that the social impact of this dawned on me. Something as trivial as going out for pizza with friends is no longer trivial. Being a teenager and wanting to fit in is difficult enough, without somewthing like this to worry about.

So now I find myself checking the labels on everything in the grocery store to see if it's gluten free. Any time I cook something I wonder if it's something she can eat or not. We're doing our annual Christmas demo at the dojo and everyone brings food to share. Odds are she won't be able to eat any of the baked goods, which will make up 75% of what's there.

I'll be spending the next week experimenting with a friends cayenne chocolate chip cookie recipe so she can have her own batch to take home.
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29. Board Game: Wreckage [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8511]
Paul
United States
Iowa
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I could think of many incidents of generosity towards me--usually from people I know. But what always strikes me is generosity from strangers towards others. Generosity where there is no recognition or warm fuzzy feeling. Perhaps the acts of generosity that I see that often strike me the most are the people who stop to help others who breakdown on the road. I'm always amazed b/c these people are likely going somewhere, too---yet they stop to help people change a tire or even to see what's wrong. There's a risk involved--but they do it anyway. Always stuns me and makes me wish I were more mechanically inclined.
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30. Board Game: The Prisoner Board Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mal Content
United States
Caln Township
Pennsylvania
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I work for a large public defender's office. Every year, the chief of our prisons unit orchestrates a gift drive. In the past, the gift drive collected toys for children at a local orphanage, but due to budgetary and other reasons, that orphanage no longer exists as a physical location housing children. So, this year, the gift drive aims to collect glove/hat or mitten/hat sets which will be handed out by a Santa Claus to children of incarcerated men at an annual holiday gathering, which is held inside one of our state prisons and conducted by various prison society organizations. The incarcerated fathers get to spend some time with their chldren and family.
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31. Board Game: Cold Feet [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Greg Perschbacher
United States
Phoenix
AZ
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Collectively, as a church, we are always giving clothes and food to the needy, and i'm sure that helps them out quite a bit. A month ago or so, immediately after the sermon about giving and sacrifice, the paster said something like this: "Be a congregation of action! I am challenging you right now, to leave this church BAREFOOTED!" That's right! He challenged us to walk up front before leaving and leave the very shoes that we were wearing and walk out of the church barefooted. Those shoes would go to the homeless and needy. It turns out that shoes are a very needed clothing item. Of course, living in Arizona helped a bit as there wasn't any snow to walk through to get to the car.

I'd say that 90% of the church gave their shoes that very day, and all totaled, over 2000 pairs of shoes were donated.

WOW, that was cool.
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32. Board Game: Clean Sweep [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Dan
United States
Burlington
Vermont
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Over the summer I landed an internship with a large company. It was a great gig, with a good number of people I know working there, and I was getting paid to learn more about web design. The summer ended, and my internship didn't. I'm still there, in fact, a few hours a week plugging away on the intranet.

One of the things I found interesting was that the cleaning lady for the building was there ALL THE TIME. Every day that I've gone in, she's there. Off hours? She's there. It's a big building, with four floors to clean, so I can imagine that it isn't a quick job.

I was introduced to her on my first day there, and she will always say hello and give you a smile when she sees you. I didn't know much about her, but she was always very pleasant to interact with.

What I didn't know until recently was that she lives over an hour away and drives in every morning to work. For those of you that know Vermont geography, I'm in Burlington, she lives outside of Plattsburgh New York. So there's really no easy way to get here for her.

Tuesday of this week I was approached by one of my friends there to ask me if I would like to give some money as a gift to her. There were two people taking up a collection, and they were trying to get some extra cash for her on the holiday. Her job doesn't pay a lot and it's a long drive for her everyday. Gas must be a killer.

So when I went in the next day, I handed five bucks to one of the people collecting. It wasn't a lot, but I knew it was more the thought that counted. Yesterday my friend approached me with a smile and said "Wanna see something cool?"

He took me over to his desk and pulled out an envelope STUFFED with cash. They still have a few people to ask for donations, and they already have raised over $700 for her. Wow. I'm still pleasantly shocked by the generosity of all the employees there!
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33. Board Game: Happy, Happy Birthday [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
MMB
United States
Florida
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This is about my daughter who is 8 years old and I feel, very generous for being a child and for age. She is always willing (on her own) to share anything she has including a favorite food or drink. When we have visitors she immediately plays hostess and starts serving food and drink without asking them first and has been doing this for years now.

WOW!! Not me, I was the typical egocentric, selfish child when growing up and at her age. shake blush

Well, I recently found out that she has been ninja up to something ninja

A couple of years ago she received a set of Literary Classics for Children in beautiful hardback volumes. Now, you have to understand that my daughter is book/reading crazy just like me and loves books, the library, bookstores, buying and receiving books, etc.

She has secretly (without our knowledge) taken 8 of these books to school and kept them in her desk. She did this in order to be able to give birthday gifts to students in her class who didn't have an "official birthday party." Now, we don't give her spending money and she really wanted to be able to give each child--whether close friends or not--a gift on their birthday!!!!!! When she knows it's their birthday, she will give them a book--and tries to give one that would be appropriate to/match their interests!!!!

I think this is super sweet and thoughtful. I truly feel that it is the little things you do every day to spread cheer that make this world/life bearable and enjoyable. She is spreading love, generosity, and happiness in her own original, personal & small way!!

And I love her even more for it!!!!!!

kiss
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34. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1712]
Raimond
Sweden
Göteborg
Västra Götalands län
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Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. (Carl Sagan 1934-1996)
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Our beloved cat named "Jensen" was born the 18th of April 1992. We, me and my wife, loved him very, very much! But neither humans nor cats live forever and Jensen passed away the 13th of December 2008. I really love that my sister in law sent us a guardian angel! It's a sleeping angel in porcelain with wings made of feathers. This angel has guarded the portrait of Jensen in one year now. I love the memories of our beloved Black Cat!


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35. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
To be free, one must give up a little part of oneself
Canada
Guelph
Ontario
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In fall of this year, I was lucky enough to be among the crew of the first BSG PBforum games started by N/A; there are now over 40 of these games that have been run using his system and Photoshopped board. The game ran for about two months, and was some of the most enjoyable interactions I've had with other BGGers on the forums. ColtsFan put a TON of time and effort into this game, and went through some family emergencies in the middle, making his dedication to the effort even more stunning.

I knew ColtsFan primarily through his participation with the Arkham Horror forums before this game; he was THAT GUY who always had the answer to every question anyone ever had. Ever. And he would post the answer seemingly within milliseconds of the question being asked. As the game was wrapping up, I noticed that he had Innsmouth Horror (which was announced and to be released within a few weeks of the BSG game's completion) on his wishlist, but it wasn't marked as Preordered or anything else. I wanted to do something nice for him for taking the time to run such an enjoyable game, and thought it would be criminal for him not to have the final AH expansion as soon as it hit. So I secretly contacted the players in my game, as well as the second BSG PBF game he had started by this time, and collected donations from several. With those donations (including my own, of course!), I was able to get ColtsFan a preorder for Innsmouth Horror from Thoughthammer; we announced it and presented it to him on the Geeklist for the game after the Cylons wrapped up their victory. You can see his reaction here. I was happy to be able to return the joy he had brought us (and to make sure any geeks with questions about the expansion would be sure to have their expert ready to answer them ).
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36. Board Game: Road Trip [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
I like pretty dice
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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A few years ago my boyfriend and I were driving to his parent's place to spend Christmas. They live in a little town in the middle of nowhere, Ontario. We were traveling on a secondary road with little traffic, it was Christmas Eve, growing dark and about -25 degrees C. I heard a low, twanging snap. I figured I had broken a belt. I warned my passenger that it was going to get cold and kept driving. Fortunately I'm not a complete idiot and I noticed my heat gauge getting really high so I pulled over. There was no cell coverage there so I couldn't call for help. One lone truck came up behind us and my boyfriend hit the hazards and the truck stopped. The man in the truck had tools and tried to get the car running but it was cold and dark and the belt goes in strange paths so he ended up towing us about 60 km into town. We were finally safe and warm. Troy (I don't remember his last name) is my hero. I got his address and sent a card so I could send him something but he never replied.
That wasn't the only breakdown on that trip, but that's another story.
Next time we went out there, I rented a car.

Oh, this year! I should read these things more carefully.
OK, here's one.
Last year after Xmas, in a rare moment of thinking ahead, I bought two toys at half price for this year. They're going in the donation box tomorrow.
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37. Board Game: Perikles [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:664]
Christopher Bird
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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So a couple weeks ago I'm walking home from the post office, having gone to pick up my copy of Perikles that I got in a math trade, and a fellow stops me and asks if I have any TTC (subway) tokens. In bad English, he explains he's from Montreal, he's lost his wallet, and his car has stopped - and he offers to show me that it's his car as he pulls out his keys, but I just say I believe him because, fuck, am I seriously gonna ask for a demonstration? - and he needs tokens so he can go meet his family and then they can all go to his parents' house.

I walked back with him to the subway station and bought him $10 worth of tokens. On the way there we talked about Montreal (I was born there), alternating between his bad English and my bad French. When I handed him the tokens he said "thank you" about a dozen times and gave me a big hug, which to be honest I wasn't really expecting, but hey.
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38. Board Game: Be an Angel [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Kennedy
France
Annecy
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Wow--there are some great stories here. My story is about my wife, because I'm just not that charitable (although I did once fill a rental car with premium...)

Our close friends have had their 3 year-old daughter in the hospital for the past 2 weeks. No one is sure what is going on, but their little girl is losing function in her face and throat. It is heartbreaking to see. My wife juggles our 2 year-old daughter (who is a handful), and spends every day up there at the hospital cheering people up, taking care of our friends' other two young girls, or running errands for them. On top of that, I've been at work late for the past three weeks, and she's been doing this with no support from me. I don't know where she gets the energy, but my wife is truly an angel. I'm so grateful for good people in this world, and I'm glad that this community values them.

(If I win, I'd like my gift donated to a local hospital or charity.)
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J.L. Robert
United States
Sherman Oaks
California
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Yeah, it may be a hassle with the Post Office. Sure, they may not be the best games in my collection. Yes, it's frustrating to have people sign up for games, win, then never fulfill their obligation for me to send it to them.

But I've enjoyed my annual 12 Games of Christmas Give-Aways that I see it as a regular event for the forseeable future.
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40. Board Game: Tempus [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1023]
John Bandettini
United Kingdom
London
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A little over a year ago, the organiser of my games club (London on Board) set up his own online boardgames store. (www.boardgameguru.co.uk) To reward his early customers he gave away some boardgames. He gave me a copy of Tempus.
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41. Board Game: Outdoor Survival [Average Rating:4.53 Overall Rank:10938]
Pete Martyn
United States
Guilford
VT
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This pales in comparison to a lot of the amazing things on this list, but it still made a huge impression on me.

I work at a summer camp most years -- this year I was the director of Outdoor and Nature programs. One of the perks of my job was taking kids up nearby Mount Monadnock, a challenging climb for some kids, but pretty manageable. What blows me away is how supportive the kids get. It's a pretty cool camp, and people are generally very kind to one another, but on this mountain hike, they go above and beyond. They watch out for each other, they share water and food, they pick blueberries for one another, the older kids carry the packs for the little ones...good behavior abounds. Keep in mind that most of these kids barely know each other before the trip (for reference, each trip was about twelve kids, ages 8-14 -- the first four weeks were boys, the second four weeks girls.)

On one of the trips with the boys, two kids really bonded -- Miles, this chipmunk-faced, adorable little eight-year-old, and Joe, this fifteen-year-old emo kid. They stuck together the whole way up the mountain, with Joe supporting Miles and helping him up the steep parts. Then, on the way down, Miles took a spill and hurt his arm -- nothing broken, but between the pain and the surprise of it, he was having trouble hiking. Joe insisted on carrying Miles down the mountain (over a mile) despite being asthmatic. I only made him stop when it looked like Joe was starting to get too tired, and Joe took over again once we reached the flat trails at the base. People who think of teenage boys as un-caring just haven't spent enough time with them. These guys (and many others) were remarkable.

Honorable mention to the little girl who, after struggling the whole way up and insisting that she wasn't going to make it, enthusiastically cheered for every person we saw heading up the mountain on the way back down. Most people didn't know what to make of this little nine-year-old who would suddenly pipe up with things like, "You can do it, you're almost there! Keep up the good work!"
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42. Board Game: Gas Crisis [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
David Dawn
United States
Monroe
Michigan
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A couple months ago, I passed a guy walking with a gas can. He was surprised that someone actually stopped. He thanked me many times for saving him the several miles each way he was going to have to walk. He explained that he had come up from Ohio to interview for a job but did not have the gas to get back. When we arrived at the station, he looked at my sheepishly, and admitted he did not have the funds to fill the can. I opened my wallet and gave him what I had. But it was only $5. Its a good thing we weren't far from the border. In the end, after much thanking, I wished him luck on the results of the interview,
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43. Board Game: Hot Dog [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8628]
Matthew Collier
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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So just yesterday I was coming out of my history exam and it was a particularly cold and windy day, unusually so for where I live. Exams are always the most stressful time in my life and I was relieved to be done having to think for awhile. Anyways, as I was walking by this hot dog stand a particularly strong wind came and actually managed to blow the entire stand over just as I had reached it. It scared me half to death, and the cans of soda sprawled everywhere was quite a scene. Another student was also near by and we both saw this and helped the man get his stand... erm... standing again. I felt really bad for that man, having to be out there so long on such an awful day, and to top it all of his livelihood completely collapses over right in front of him. I was glad to help him, and wish him a great day... I hope things are going better for him now

This list is amazing, really getting me into the spirit of the holiday. Thanks so much!
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44. Board Game: Mountaineering [Average Rating:4.45 Overall Rank:9980]
Jeff Spencer
United States
Marquette
Michigan
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My wife and I were driving from Washington State to Chicago. Driving through the Lolo Pass between Idaho and Montana, I hit a rock, which jumped up and put a big hole in our gas tank. I noticed the damage when the gas gauge began to plummet to E. Sure enough, when I got out to look our just-filled tank was gushing out onto the mountain road. This lovely family in an SUV stopped to help us, towing us to the nearest town and taking us to a diner to find out where a mechanic might be. Not only did this family stay with us to make sure we were alright, but gave us their address and phone number in case we needed them again. THEN, the mechanic was able to fix the leak with epoxy, only charging us $20! All around great examples of humanity!
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45. Board Game: Christmas-in-a-Box [Average Rating:3.25 Unranked]
Nicolas Varela
Chile
Santiago
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Every year, for the last six years, 5 friends & I have organized a campaign of "Christmas boxes". The idea is to "sell" empty boxes to people, who in turn have to fill them with food & gifts for an asigned family. These families are chosen out of the poorest families in a very poor district of Santiago de Chile.

On december 19th we will deliver almost boxes to almost 400 families, who receive this "box" full of food & gifts as a Christmas present, and share a while with many volunteers + donors who helped us through this campaign. After the box giveaway, we celebrate a massive Mass.

It's a nice twist to the Christmas-mania of gifts and spending, and allows people to give a present to someone who wouldn't have got a present otherwise.

Merry Christmas!!
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46. Board Game: Let's Go Shopping [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joseph
United States
Ewing
New Jersey
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This is something I did because my wife makes me a better man.

We were shopping in a craft store (a large national chain) when we heard a crash at the end of the aisle. We looked over and saw a woman picking up pieces of a ceramic plate her child had knocked off of the shelf. The child was maybe a year old, at most 18 months, and was sitting in the little seat that shopping carts have.

The woman was saying, in a exaperated not mean way, that she should not have gone shopping and that she should just stay home. She was also saying that she had to buy the broken plate. She was quite upset and it almost seemed as if she was reaching the end of her rope.

I walked over to the woman and took the pieces of the dish right out of her cart and told her not to worry about it. When she tried to protest that she had to pay for it, I told her stores have insurance for just this purpose. Once I had all of the pieces I took it up to an employee and turned it over to them with just, "This was broken".

When I got back to my wife she was talking with that woman saying, "You can't stay home, you have to go out. It wasn't your fault, besides they really shouldn't display those plates like that, right at the height kids in carts can reach".

By the time my wife was done speaking to this woman she was in a much better mood. She thanked my wife and kept shopping.

*Note* It was a poorly designed display with the plates ready to tip over, at a narrow intersection where you couldn't avoid having your cart right next to the shelves. You can't fault a 1 yr old for reaching for the pretty plate.
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47. Board Game: Beat the Parents [Average Rating:4.55 Overall Rank:10354]
Mousey
Netherlands
Santpoort-Zuid
a nice small town near the sea
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My soon to be, I just still have to ask her Wife is usually on some weird Geeky website about family and kids and stuff. She spends a lot of time reading and writing on that forum, weird.
Anyways, since it's mostly Woman on that forum you see a lot of stories on what is happening with heir kids at certain ages and it really helps you as a parent to understand and recognize what is happening with your own kids.
Than again, sometimes there are sad stories on that forum too. The most heartbreaking ones are the ones about divorces when there are little kids involved.
This sad thing also happened to one of the people my wife writes with a lot, and not only this happened but she also lost her job and one of those kids also has an illness the doctors are still trying to diagnose.
Now the heart-warming part: Da Wife is organizing a charity and they are sending this unlucky parent some really nice gifts ( also for the kids) so at least they will have a nice Christmas.
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48. Board Game: Habitat [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:9122]
United States
Lexington
Kentucky
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This year, I convinced a few of my close friends from work to use 3 of their vacation days to help out Habitat for Humanity. We spent those days framing, painting, and roofing houses for families in our area that wouldn't otherwise be able to afford housing. We had a great time!
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49. Board Game: 100 Strategic Games for Pen and Paper [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Spencer C
Netherlands
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This one's not so grandiose as some of these other great stories, but here goes:

About ten months ago I was walking through town when two students asked me if I had a pen they could borrow. I had seen them asking previous passers-by who apparently were unable or unwilling to help. It was cold and they were trying to fill out some kind of form (I'd hazard a guess it was a housing application, given the time of year), and while I had only one (my favourite) pen on me, I couldn't not help them. However, I certainly wasn't going to stand there, awkwardly waiting for my pen back, making everyone uncomfortable, so I told them, "Go ahead, keep it!" The surprise on their faces of someone helping out and freely giving away possessions without pre-meditation was well worth it.

On the flip side, I now try to carry two pens with me, just in case.
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50. Board Game: Big Brother: The Game [Average Rating:3.01 Overall Rank:10733]
James Palmer
Canada
Kitchener
Ontario
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This is perhaps not the most "random" act of kindness, but this year I signed on as a Big Brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada organization. I have now spent almost a year, hanging out every week with a 13 year old boy with Aspergers named Matthew. We've had a lot of fun, and had some great conversations, and we both have grown tremendously throughout this whole process. Not too long ago, he told me that there are only 2 people in the world that he trusts - his mother, and me. It's one of the best Christmas presents ever to know that I have made a difference in a child's life.
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