“Ring of Kindness” by Sarah Forgrave

Mistletoe photoThe holiday season is just around the corner, and I’m so excited to be a contributor to the Guideposts collection, A Cup of Christmas Cheer! I’m especially excited to kick off our author blog posts today and share about my short story, “Ring of Kindness,” which is included in Volume 4 – Heartwarming Tales of Christmas Present.

The setting:
“Ring of Kindness” is a modern-day tale set in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The story:
Christmas brings fresh feelings of loss for a young widow as she grapples with the death of her husband. Her sorrow is punctuated by the fact that during their last Christmas together, she lost her wedding ring. When she receives a random act of kindness from an elderly man at the grocery store, she sets out to pay it forward by offering her tree and ornaments to a family whose house burned to the ground. In focusing on bringing holiday joy to others, she receives more than she could have imagined…and learns that God restores what is lost when our hearts are open.

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The inspiration:
The pay-it-forward concept came from my experiences volunteering at a Christmas outreach event at my church. God opened doors for me to pour into a family more than I’d anticipated, and I found a huge sense of joy and peace at being able to pass the blessing on.

The takeaway:
My prayer is that readers will come away from this story with a greater awareness of the needs around them. When we open ourselves up to “passing it on,” God always returns the blessings tenfold, often in unexpected and miraculous ways.

Christmas ornaments photoChristmas traditions:
Every year from infancy through high school, my grandma gave her grandkids a new ornament. I still have all 18 of mine tucked safely in a box. I’ve since started the tradition with my own kids, giving them an ornament that represents something about them each year. There’s nothing sweeter than putting their ornaments up next to my childhood ones at Christmastime, especially against the backdrop of twinkling lights.

Your turn:
What is the most unique ornament that will grace your Christmas tree this year? What ornament holds the most memories?

My giveaway!

I’m offering a $10 Amazon e-gift card to one lucky winner!
Click this link to be taken to our Rafflecopter drawing.
Once there, follow the directions to enter.

For your protection, do not include personal information in a comment.

Congratulations to Cynthia H, winner of the giveaway!

Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas season!

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Check out the Giveaways page on our site to learn about our  Goodreads giveaway.
We’re offering five sets of A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volumes Three and Four.

(Note: If comments aren’t visible below the post, click the green circle under the post date.)

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The storyteller:
Headshot #1_Aug 2014_cropped for webSARAH FORGRAVE is a work-at-home mom who feels blessed to do what she loves—raise her two children while writing stories that inspire. In addition to A Cup of Christmas Cheer, her writing credits include contributions to the webzine Ungrind and the Pearl Girls™ book, Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith. When she’s not writing, she enjoys teaching fitness classes and sipping hot cocoa with her family in their Midwest home. You can learn more about Sarah on her website at www.sarahforgrave.com.

See my Pinterest board for “Ring of Kindness” here.

Mistletoe photo courtesy of digidreamgrafix/FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
Aesop photo courtesy of PersonalExcellence.co
Ornaments photo courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


38 thoughts on ““Ring of Kindness” by Sarah Forgrave

  1. Sarah, I enjoyed hearing the story behind your story. I love the idea of “paying it forward” and try to do so as often as I can.

    How neat that you’re carrying on the ornament tradition your parents started. Of the eighteen in your special collection, which one means the most, and why?

    • Oohhh, tough question, Keli! I think my favorite is probably the tiny little bell ornament I was given the year I was born. For some reason, it draws my kids to it more than any other ornament, and they love to make it ring whenever they can. 🙂

  2. I also pull out the ornaments from Grandma. It’s fun telling the stories of how I got each one. My parents have continued the tradition for my kids – it’s like a small time capsule every time we decorate the tree! “That’s from your first Christmas. That one is from our first Christmas in this house. That’s from the Christmas you loved Toy Story.” 🙂

  3. Sarah, Our family also had the tradition of giving our children ornaments each year. Then when they started their own families (and some have), they had ornaments for their Christmas trees! I also have one ornament from my family’s tree and it’s the last ornament that we hang on our tree each year. Congratulations on being part of the A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection!

    • Oh how neat, Mary! Handmade ornaments probably hold extra memories for you. I have a few handmade ones I made as a child, and it’s always fun to show them to my kids.

  4. I enjoyed getting to know more about you, Sarah. I bought each of my children an ornament every year. I have 4 children and last year I couldn’t put all the ornaments on the tree because 3 of them were still not married. LOL. It’s a wonderful tradition and gives them a great start to decorating their own tree once they’re married.

  5. Sarah, I loved learning the inspiration behind your story! My favorite ornaments are ones I have from when our children were little. One of my favorites is a laminated handprint of our son when he was about three. (He’s a teacher now so that was quite a few years ago!) 🙂

    • I agree, Cynthia, anything with children’s handprints are extra special. I’ve held on to some of my kids’ handprint crafts because I want to always remember how teeny-tiny they were. 🙂

  6. My aunt passed away when I was 7 of Leukemia. She was just 35. She was very special to me. She was only given 6 months to live but lived on for four years. What a gift to spend that extra time with her. She had crocheted a gorgeous Christmas star ornament before she passed and that is a must for my tree every year.

  7. I can’t wait to read this and all of the other stories. I only recently heard about A Cup of Christmas Cheer and have quickly ordered the 1st 2 volumes, with the next ones soon to follow:)

    This year, I think the most unique ornament that will be on my tree is my new Waltons Mountain collector’s ornament from Hallmark. I adore that show, so I had to pick that one up as soon as it came out!

  8. I love the tradition of ornaments. My mother did this with my brother, sister and I and then with her grandchildren. What lovely memories they give. Every year we try to Pay It Forward at least once a month. The blessings truly do multiply through the smiles we see

  9. What a beautiful tradition ! My special ornament is an angel that has my name across it that says Jacqueline’s special angel. It was a gift from my late husband that he brought home from a work trip . We had 46 years together and now I have this reminder every Christmas.
    I love your comments on paying it forward, such a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas or everyday.

  10. Sarah, we lost our home in a wildfire years ago, close to the holidays, and I had a baby and four year old son to try and make things happy for. I’ll never forget the generosity of people, many of whom I didn’t even know, who made sure we had some ornaments for a tree in our rental home with our rental furniture and rental everything. We barely had clothing, and boy did we have a sweet tree and other thoughtful things. It was one of the first things that was ours again. God is so good! Thank you for including that moment in your story, which I can’t wait to read!

  11. I, too, have given my grandchildren ornaments at Christmas. Is your grandmother alive and able to know you have the ornaments and know about your gifts to your children, too?

    • So glad to hear the tradition is alive in your family too, Phyllis! Yes, my grandmother is alive. My grandfather passed away two years ago, so holidays are extra hard for her. I’ll have to remind her that her tradition lives on.

      Blessings to you!

  12. I’m looking forward to reading your story, Sarah! It sounds wonderful. Paying it forward, such an important thing to do all year long, but especially during the holidays. There are so many hurting and lonely folks out there.

    I think the most unique ornament on our tree is actually the topper. Two and a half years ago our oldest child passed away, and our tree topper that Christmas was one that had tiny lights inside of an Angel, and they just quit working. I remember when I plugged it in and it didn’t come on that I thought how apropos. Our family felt like our light had been extinguished for months. Well, I went on an angel hunt that year to find one that would light the tree back up. My search was relentless but I could NOT find one that I liked. Our tree sat barren on top and lonely looking for weeks until I went in Hobby Lobby one day and saw an Angel topper that looked so much like our daughter, I started to cry. She didn’t have any lights, but I didn’t care. She was beautiful! I know it sounds ridiculous but for the past two Christmases when we place her on top of the tree, we all stand there and kind of sigh together and say how glorious it must be for her in Heaven with Jesus.

    • Anne, Thank you so much for sharing your story. I got tears in my eyes as I read it. In my short story, I reference an angel topper as well. I hope the story is a blessing to you!

  13. My Christmas Tree has a hodge podge of ornaments on it and they all mean something special to me. I try to find ornaments that bring back memories of my childhood or my kids’ childhood.

    • I agree, griperang. I have fancy ornaments interspersed just for decoration, but most of my ornaments have sentimental value. Thanks for dropping in today! Good luck in the drawing!

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