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Sunday, May 26, 2019

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True spirit of Christmas is sharing with those who are less fortunate

True spirit of Christmas is sharing with those who are less fortunate

Bobby was trying to come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless. Even if I do come up with an idea, I don’t have any money.”

Ever since his father died three years ago, his family of five had to struggle. His mother worked nights at the hospital, but her small wages could only do so much. Bobby had two older sisters and one younger. His three sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. It was Christmas Eve and Bobby had nothing.

Cold, with only his thin holey sneakers to keep out the snow, six-year-old Bobby started to walk toward the shops. He walked from shop to shop, looking at each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful but so out of reach.

As darkness approached, Bobby reluctantly started to return home. Suddenly his eyes caught the setting sun’s rays reflecting off something on the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.

Bobby felt like a millionaire. A warm feeling spread throughout his body as he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn’t buy anything with a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother’s Christmas gift. The owner looked at Bobby and his ten-cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby’s shoulder and said to him, “You just wait here and I’ll see what I can do for you.”

As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and realized why mothers and women liked flowers. As the last customer left, Bobby began to feel anxious and afraid. Suddenly, the shop owner returned with twelve long-stem red roses with beautiful green leaves. Bobby’s heart sank as the owner placed them gently into a long white box.

“That will be ten cents, young man,” the owner said reaching out his hand.

Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true?

Sensing the boy’s reluctance, the shopkeeper added, “I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Do you like them?”

This time Bobby did not hesitate. When the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. As he walked out the door, the shopkeeper wished him a Merry Christmas.

“Who were those roses for?” his wife inquired.

Staring out the window and wiping the tears from his own eyes, he replied, “A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was opening the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn’t sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway.

“Then, just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime. When I looked at him, I saw myself. I, too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother at Christmas. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew whose voice that was, and I put together a dozen of my best roses.”

As they hugged each other, they realized that the true spirit of Christmas was sharing with those who are less fortunate.

Maybe we can do the same.