Some years ago a friend was working in a local op shop in a country town.
It was coming up to Christmas and the volunteer staff had been run off their feet but were looking forward to having a month-long break with the op shop closed until after the New Year.
My friend was called into the back room by one of the senior staff and was profusely thanked for all the hard work she'd done and told how much they appreciated her efforts.
"Here's a little something to say thank you and we thought it would look lovely on your table at Christmas,"
She was handed a green and gold painted glass bowl with angels around the outside of it and an odd lid firmly stuck on top that had been donated to the shop sometime earlier in the week.
My friend packed it into her bag and took it home, thinking no more about it until shortly before her husband got home.
Taking the bowl out she saw that it was pretty dusty and needed a wash to sparkle properly.
Try as she could the lid was stuck fast but after a while she managed to get it off, just as her husband walked in the door.
"What have you got there?" He asked, peering over her shoulder.
She explained how she came by the bowl, adding,
"But it's full of this dust or dirt or whatever,"
Hubby made some choking noises as he grabbed it out of her hands, stopping her from dumping the "dirt" in the bin.
"That's not dirt, that's somebody's ashes! They've given you an urn with a cremated person's ashes inside!"
They never were able to trace where the "donation" had come from, despite many discreet enquiries!