A Christmas Story

This just makes me feel happy inside.

Late last week, I was rushing around trying to get some last
minute shopping done. I was stressed out and not thinking very
fondly of the Christmas season right then. It was dark, cold,
and wet in the parking lot as I was loading my car up with gifts
that I felt obligated to buy. I noticed that I was missing a
receipt that I might need later. So mumbling under my breath, I
retraced my steps to the shopping mall entrance.

As I was searching the wet pavement for the lost receipt, I heard
a quiet sobbing. The crying was coming from a poorly dressed boy
of about 12 years old. He was short and thin. He had no coat.
He was just wearing a ragged flannel shirt to protect him from
the cold night’s chill.

Oddly enough, he was holding a hundred dollar bill in his hand.
Thinking that he had gotten lost from his parents, I asked him
what was wrong. He told me his sad story. He said that he came
from a large family. He had three brothers and four sisters.
His father had died when he was nine years old. His mother was
poorly educated and worked two full time jobs. She made very
little to support her large family.

Nevertheless, she had managed to skimp and save two hundred
dollars to buy her children Christmas presents. The young boy
had been dropped off, by his mother, on the way to her second
job. He was to use the money to buy presents for all his siblings
and save just enough to take the bus home. He had not even
entered the mall, when an older boy grabbed one of the hundred
dollar bills and disappeared into the night.

Why didn’t you scream for help?” I asked.

The boy said, “I did.”

“And nobody came to help you?” I wondered.

The boy stared at the sidewalk and sadly shook his head.

“How loud did you scream?” I inquired.

The soft-spoken boy looked up and meekly whispered, “Help me…”

I realized then that absolutely no one could have heard that poor
boy cry for help. So I grabbed his other hundred and ran to my

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