Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Email I Received - Santa Is Alive


The email gives no author, but the message is real!

Give without remembering, receive without forgetting.


I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big
sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even
dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day
because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told
the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier
when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they
were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her
everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she
snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going
around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your
coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second
world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General
Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about
everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten
dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said,
"and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the
car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but
never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and
crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar
bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the
kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He
was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in
Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew
that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother
always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we
kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good
coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy
Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real
warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter
asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied
shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a
good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag,
smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of
the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and
ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me
over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and
forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me
a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on
his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and
Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to
open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering,
beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that
those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were
-- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.


May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...

And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!

What will you do for someone that you don't HAVE to this Christmas?

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