I just plowed eight inches of snow from the driveway this afternoon. However, God was kind because this morning, before the storm, St. Nicholas arrived to receive some 300 toys from 17 children. And this is the story he shared with our kids:
“I noticed a little girl was looking through the Barbie dolls with a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. When she came upon a Barbie she liked, she would turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said "yes," but she would keep looking and keep asking her daddy: "Do I have enough?"
As she was looking, a little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokémon toys. He was dressed neatly, but in clothes that were rather worn. He had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars at the most. He was with his father as well, however, each time he picked a toy and looked at his father, his father shook his head "no".
The little girl had chosen her Barbie, that would have been the envy of every little girl on the block. However, she had stopped and was watching what was happening between the little boy and his father. Rather dejectedly, the boy had given up on the video games and had chosen what looked like a book of stickers instead.
The little girl put her Barbie back on the shelf, and ran over to the Pokémon games. She picked up one and raced toward the checkout, after speaking with her father. After the Pokemon game was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear. The cashier smiled and put the package under the counter.
When the little boy came up to the cashier. The cashier rang up his purchases and then said, "Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!" With that, she handed the little boy the Pokémon game, and he could only stare in disbelief. It was, he said, exactly what he had wanted!
The little girl and her father had been standing at the doorway during all of this, and she had the biggest grin on her face. Her father asks his daughter why she had done that. And this is what she said to him. "Daddy, didn't grandma and grandpa want me to buy something that would make me happy?" He said, "Of course they did, Honey." To which the little girl replied, "Well, I just did." With that, she giggled and started skipping toward their car. Apparently, she had decided on the answer to her own question of, "Do I have enough?".
So, this is the answer to what is the spirit of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is not about how much we are going to get or whose feelings would be hurt if we don’t give them something of value. She was only concerned about giving this boy, who was a total stranger to her, something special.
I see that you have brought some gifts that you want me to give to some children who will “not have enough” money to get what they want for Christmas. How beautiful and special you all are in the eyes of Jesus who is smiling this morning and will bless you and your parents for your generosity and love.”
Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends that as we prepare to meet the Christ Child on Christmas day, we will imitate the example of these children and come to Mass on Christmas to thank God for His gift of comfort and love.