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25 Days of Giving: Day 7

Giving on the road! Tonight was one of the most fun "giving back" moments yet... Day 7. Hot chocolate smiles.

Tonight we had such a fun giving back moment! Knowing we were driving to Boston and our time was limited, we needed to be creative about what we could do to give back. Packing our things early this morning, we discussed several ideas before the girls headed off to school. It would be a quick overnight stay in one of our favorite cities, for a meeting in the morning and fun in the afternoon. Before I knew it, it was 5:30pm, and David and the girls had arrived at my office to pick me up, ready to leave for Beantown. Giving plan set, we headed out.

By the time we reached the Mass Pike, we were literally giddy with excitement about what we had planned. As we pulled into the last rest area before our exit, we found what we were looking for: Dunkin Donuts. Our “giving” idea was to buy hot chocolate for the toll collectors and hand it to them as we drove through. To “warm them up” said my oldest, and to bring them a smile, because they might be cold standing outside all day, said my little one.

Our excitement quickly dwindled, however, when we were told NO HOT CHOCOLATE at Dunkin Donuts. Nope, the machine was broken. Same goes for the latte one, too. Sad and disappointed, we decided to try the McDonalds across the parking lot.  By now, the girls were tired, I was tired and our giddiness was fading. David went inside, and the girls and I crossed our fingers.  After what seemed like FOREVER, out walks David, with four hot chocolates, topped with whipped cream. Giddiness back.  Apparentely there was a McCafe next door which sold hot chocolate. Who knew?

I cannot even tell you who was more excited about the hot chocolate… the man at the toll booth, or us as we handed it over saying happy holidays and this is for you to stay warm. (The girls were practicing it on the drive.) This man was so wonderful and so taken by surprise, thanking us over and over with his heavy Boston accent. The girls asked if he could hand the rest of them out to the other three collectors. His eyes lit up and his smile was contagious. He laughed when we handed him extra napkins, telling the girls they thought of everything. (I’m sure the people behind us were not laughing as we took our time wishing him a happy holiday- but who cares?) We had so much fun, doing this little act of giving, that we decided we are definitely doing the hot chocolate gift every year!

How to Give Back: Buy (or make) hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and have your child hand it out to the nearest toll collector. Guaranteed to warm up at least one person and put a smile on their face! Such a fun and thoughtful way for the whole family to give back!

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