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In the spirit of Christmas: Good news stories to warm your heart

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We all get our fill of stories about government corruption and evil deeds, so it's nice to read about the good in the world that is so often overshadowed by the worst side of humanity. So, in the spirit of the season, here are a couple stories that will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.

Sometimes our reward for doing the right thing is nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing we did what's right, but this story from ABC News shows that choosing the moral option really can pay off.

While cleaning a table recently at the Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda, Fla., waitress Samantha Knight found $1,000 that was left behind by a customer. Knight rushed out of the restaurant to give the money to a man who had just been sitting at the table. The man thanked Knight, took the money, and drove away. The problem was, he was the wrong man.

The next day the man who actually lost the cash, Chuck Behm, called to claim it, according to ABC affiliate WLS.

"I feel really bad," Knight told WLS. "I wish I had just held on to it and waited for someone to call. But I thought I was giving it to the right guy."

Behm and Knight both assumed the money was lost and gone forever. Then, much to Knight's surprise, the following morning the man who she gave the money returned to the Laishley Crab House with the $1,000, saying he honestly thought he had lost it because he had been carrying a large amount of money. He said he didn't realize the money wasn't his until later. Then he gave Knight a $100 tip for her honesty.

Knight quickly called Behm to tell him the money had been returned, and she was in for an even bigger surprise. Behm told Knight to keep the money. Knight, who just happens to be pregnant, said the $1,100 will help make this a very Merry Christmas.

The next story from KTSM in El Paso has an even happier ending, and helped restore one family's faith in the goodness of people.

Army Corporal Chris Petrossian just returned home to his family in Lodi, TX after 17 months in Afghanistan. He and his wife, Cheryl, were planning their best Christmas ever. The couple saved over $5,000 to buy gifts for each other and their four-year-old daughter, Cookie. The gifts included video games, digital cameras, and iPads.

The Petrossians came home from an outing only two days after Chris returned from after Afghanistan to find that thieves had broken into their home and stolen all of the presents. They were devastated.

"I do most of my shopping online because I don't have much time when I come home," said Petrossian. "It was all sitting on the desk and they just ripped open all the packages and helped themselves to whatever they wanted, which was everything."

Once news of their story got around, the people of Lodi, including local police and firefighters, stepped up to help make the Petrossian's shattered dream of a Christmas to remember come true. Donations poured in and the family has been able to replace almost everything.

But according to Cookie, that's not the best part of the story. She says she already received the best present of all, her daddy is home for Christmas.

See, happy endings aren't always reserved for fairy tales. Here's to your family's Christmas being just as special.

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