What did you give people this Christmas? Did you stick to giving those gifts you buy in a store that need to be wrapped and then unwrapped? Or did you go beyond and give them the gift of your love and kindness?

Your talents, your abilities and even your warmth are things they can’t get from anyone else.

From Pam Nygard in West Fargo:

“I hope my story will touch many hearts, especially the heart of the man who made this story possible.

“I am very fortunate to have been so very lucky to have this experience. I didn’t feel so lucky to begin with, but along the journey and in the end, I was the most fortunate person alive to have come to meet someone who opened my eyes to the realization that there truly are good, caring souls out there.

“About two years ago, I went to see a dentist for tooth pain. After X-rays were taken, he discovered an abnormality in another location and referred me to a surgeon specializing in face and jaw surgery.

“I had a cyst in my jaw that had consumed the space where my jawbone had been. The jawbone had actually deteriorated because of the cyst. The surgeon told me that he would need to remove the cysts and then rebuild my jaw with bone from my hip.

“Here’s where my story gets interesting. I had no dental or health insurance. To reduce the cost, the surgeon said he could just remove the cyst and see if the jawbone would grow back on its own. That alone would cost at least $4,000. I still couldn’t swing it without insurance.

“The surgeon excused himself and his assistant for a few minutes, then returned to tell me his plan. He said, ‘This is what we’re going to do: We’ll take the cyst and see if the jawbone grows back like they did in the olden days.’ When I told him I still couldn’t afford it, he said he would be doing it with no charge.

“Tears began to roll as I thought of what he had just told me. I was in shock. I felt so guilty and stupid for having a job without benefits. I told him I’d repay him somehow, even if it was little by little, cleaning his office or whatever it took. He said, ‘Absolutely not. I want to do this for you.’

“Soon after, he performed the surgery and then the follow-up appointments that required extensive X-rays. It worked. My jawbone had grown back 100 percent.

“What a good, kind man that doctor is. He will never be forgotten. I still shake my head each time I think of him.

“You are truly one in a million, Doc! I hope that someday a truly kind act will, in turn, happen to you.”

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at www.nicolejphillips.com.