This Week's Featured Stories

If you're looking for a laugh, a midday pick-me-up or a dose of inspiration, you'll love our featured stories. You can read three free stories every month by picking from the selection below or by searching through every Chicken Soup for the Soul story ever published using the box to the right. You can also have stories delivered right to your inbox with our free, featured story emails. If you'd like to have unlimited access and be able to choose the perfect story for any moment, sign up for a premium subscription and have the freedom to enjoy any of our 20,000+ stories any time!


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49: Order

Order Why does a woman work ten years to change a man’s habits and then complain that he’s not the man she married? ~Barbra Streisand I have a deep need for Order in my life, and so, to my packrat chef husband’s ultimate dismay, I alphabetized our spice shelf. The idea of having a shelf dedicated entirely to spices and herbs struck me as strange, but then again, I’m not a chef. In my obviously sheltered existence, my mother’s spices were simple: salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon. In short order, I sorted, disposed of, combined, consolidated and coordinated the shelf: caraway seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin. Two half-filled jars of paprika almost the same color seemed wasteful, so I combined the two, pleased with my progress. Hmmm, bay leaves, several varieties — Indian, Greek, California. Should I or shouldn’t I? The Family Chef arrived home as I was finishing and stared — open-mouthed. “What are you doing with my spices?” “Last I looked, they were our spices.” “Where’s the fenugreek?” he wailed. “Probably in Athens by now. Nah, next to the fennel seeds where it belongs.” “It took me a year to get that shelf organized the way I want it!... (more)
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50: Those Doggone Socks

Those Doggone Socks At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. ~Jean Houston Standing outside our first apartment watching the moving men unload boxes, I almost had to pinch myself to make sure this wasn’t a dream. For the first six months of married life three thousand miles separated us, courtesy of the United States Navy. Not to mention that the two years prior to our wedding found Joe on one coast and me on the other for many months at a time. I stood on the threshold of my new career as wife and homemaker eager to unpack boxes and turn our first apartment into our first “home.” The only thing missing was a string of June Cleaver pearls and an organdy apron. No worries though, they were packed in a box somewhere. The morning after arriving I woke up just as the first light of day crept through our bedroom window. With a stretch and a yawn I tossed the covers aside, hopped out of bed and slipped into the white chiffon peignoir robe that matched the gown my mother had given me at my bridal shower amid the winks giggles of many. I tiptoed quietly lest I wake my adorable husband from his slumber. When I reached the door I stole one last glimpse at him snuggled under the comforter of our little love nest. As I... (more)
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51: Sweet Discovery

Sweet Discovery Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. ~Psalm 126 On the morning of my birthday, I caught my newlywed husband hunched over our kitchen counter, carefully studying the directions on a box of cake mix. Scott and I had been married less than a year. His military duties had taken us far from our Yankee roots. And, when it came to celebrating our birthdays, even the warm Georgia sunshine couldn’t take the place of our families back in Pennsylvania. Scott did his best to fill the void with kindness. What my sweet husband lacked in baking experience, he made up in tenacity; he was determined to make it a memorable day. Decades later I still cherish his impish smile as he mixed up my birthday surprise. Scott neared his final preparations with an air of satisfaction. His dimples deepened and he flashed me a broad smile. His warm brown eyes sparkled with the joy and spontaneity of a little child, as if to say, “Look what I did.” I laughed out loud, tickled by his thoughtfulness, thoroughly enjoying his sense of accomplishment. His face shone as he carried two pans of cake batter to the oven. It was then that I realized that Scott mixed his cake with love, goodness and a few other things. Sharp points protruded from the... (more)
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52: It’s Really the Thought that Counts

It’s Really the Thought that Counts I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special personyou want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner The men in my family have a long and sordid history of giving heinous gifts. The official records only go back a few generations but if we could see into history and watch my great-great-great-grandfather bestow a gift upon his pioneer bride it would probably have been Confederate war bonds, a tract of oceanfront property in Kansas, or a sixteen-year-old lame mule when she had asked for laying hens. The first Christmas my dad celebrated with a new girlfriend he gave her a large wrapped box. As the paper came away she laughed and told her mother, “It’s in a router box, how funny.” That might have been hilarious if the box had contained anything but a router. Which it didn’t. In my poor father’s defense, she had said she liked woodworking. Or was that woodwork? Wood-burning stoves? Walking in the woods? Love can be just as deaf as it is blind some days. Even once the first blush of love wore off, my father’s gift giving didn’t get any better. When presented with a lovely Ping-Pong table, my stepmother nodded, smiled, and resolved from then on to purchase her own gifts... (more)