Denny’s Waitress Gets $500 Tip on a $38 Bill From a Complete Stranger

Now the waitress says she can afford Christmas gifts for her children
Ken Wolter / Dreamstime / Courtesy of Trisha Murphy

A waitress in Ellsworth, Maine received a pleasant surprise when a stranger tipped her $500 on a $38 bill. Trisha Murphy splits her time between two jobs — a nursing home and Denny’s, where she received the gracious gratuity. In a Facebook post, Murphy expressed she was “so stressed” she could “barely function” at the beginning of her December 16 shift. Her car had allegedly just been towed and she was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford both the $735 fine and Christmas presents for her young kids.

"I went into work, racking my brain as to how I was going to pull this off," Murphy wrote in the post. "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."

So the single mother of four “painted on a smile” and waited on a table of three men who kept asking her about Christmas. She told them she was in it for her kids, but “besides that, I don’t really get into it that much.”

One of the men joked he would become her Santa, and he did.

"When he put his card in, he had a huge, ear to ear, smile. The receipt printed and I almost collapsed," Murphy wrote on Facebook. "I looked up at this grungy-looking man, my face as white as snow, and tears in my eyes. He just smiled again and said 'Merry Christmas, dear,' and almost danced out the back of the restaurant."

The grateful waitress claims she doesn’t know the man’s name, but hopes he realizes he “literally saved Christmas for my children and I.” She added, “Good people do still exist. Yesterday was the day I met Santa.”

Speaking of jolly Saint Nick, we bet you didn’t know these 12 things about Santa.