Sunday, October 3, 2010

Christmas Eve at Waffle House

It all started rather simply. A meal at a Waffle House in a Florida town. My son and I on Christmas Eve almost 9-10 years ago now. I really do not know what started it except that we did buy a meal fairly often for a military table or for someone anonymously to pass on a blessing to them.

But on this occasion it was decided that we would buy the entire restaurant their meals in the spirit of goodwill and charity that the Birth Of Christ brings. I barely can recall now whether we were in for breakfast of dinner on this day since many have passed since. I do recall though the warmth and the blessing that is created for everyone who was there.

Not only did the people who were represented there appreciate the sentiment but we were on the receiving end of blessings as well that Christmas Eve. The Waffle House gang always gets a kick out of it too.

My fave: Omelette
As always (Or almost always), I ordered my ham and cheese omelette and some coffee for you see I order it for breakfast and dinner, sometimes lunch too. My only other order might have been two over medium with grits and sausage. The son either goes waffle or hamburger but always gets his hash browns. Waffle House omelettes are always good, always fluffy and always tasty. I do not remember a bad one in all my years of frequenting them.

Are they going to appear on Food Network or gain critical acclaim from the venerable NYT? I think not but who cares I say. They are part of American lore and will be here long after many other high end places have come and gone. They have loyal employees as well as loyal followers who search for the yellow sign off the highway.

Since that first Christmas Eve blessing we have repeated it every year since and each time at a different Waffle House location. So far all have been in Florida. Last year I went alone and as I drove into the parking lot said a little prayer that the people inside the one I would visit would be blessed and see the true meaning of Christmas in the gesture. Well, blessings it was as the place was jammed with folks and although this year had been lean for us financially, I received much more in blessing here than the people who received their food free. I met some great folks who came by table by table to express thanks, introduce themselves and exchange Christmas wishes.

Three years ago I remember meeting a Pastor who happened to be in the one we chose that year and he was signing his Christmas cards to send out. He sent one to our table. I also was asked by one of the couples there if they could take a picture with me as they were visiting locally on vacation and had never seen this happen before. Again, I was the one who was blessed that day.

This year, blessed as we are by God, we will again venture to a new to us, Waffle House, and enjoy a Christmas Eve meal with some folks and celebrate in the tradition of love and charity.

I invite you to share in this fun with us and next time you are at Cracker Barrel, pay for the elderly couple sitting three tables over in secret. At the drive thru, pay for the car behind you and tell the cashier to tell them Merry Christmas when they drive up and are surprised.

Adopt an Angel tree child, a needy family, volunteer at Met Ministries and serve others Christmas dinner, support a foreign child through Compassion and on and on and on........

YOU will be the one who is blessed.

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