Trisha Murphy was not having the best holiday season this year. Working her job as a waitress at a Denny’s in Ellsworth, Maine, on this particular day she was feeling stressed and worried about providing a pleasant Christmas experience for her four children, whom she is raising by herself.
Not to mention, Murphy also had to deal with her main job working at a nursing home and attending school for her degree.
Money was very tight and more problems kept coming about.
“I was so stressed I could barely function,” Murphy explained on Facebook. “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.”
Using her pre-Christmas days to work as usual, Murphy couldn’t shake the stress.
“I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off,” Murphy shared. “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.”
“I thought for sure, I was screwed!”
That all changed on this particular day, which started just like any other. The Denny’s wasn’t busy, but then, in walked a group of people.
“I got this table, three men. They all looked a little grungy and judging by their demeanor, I figured an average tip,” Murphy said. “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.”
A little unsure about the man’s advances but trying to maintain her professionalism, Murphy handled the order as usual. Things took a surprising turn when it came to handling the bill.
“When I gave him the bill, he told me I had to cash him out,” Murphy said. “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!”
The gratuity on the check had an enormously large tip for Murphy: $500.
“I looked up at this grungy looking man, my face as white as snow, and tears in my eyes,” Murphy said. “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!”
Thanks to the tip from the man, Murphy had ample money to provide an enjoyable Christmas full of presents for her kids. Though she doesn’t know what the man’s name was, she went on to say that she is eternally grateful for what he did for her.
“I don’t know this man’s name, but I hope he realizes that he literally saved Christmas for my children and me!” Murphy said. “Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa!”