A Christmas Story

Recently, I caught up with an old friend and we were going back and forth trading stories about the recent holiday.  He shared with me a story that I thought was so uplifting I feel like I should share it with as many people as I can.  It’s about his son who is maybe 7 or 8 years old.  Both my friend and his son asked to remain anonymous, because getting credit for what they did isn’t what the act was about, which to me, makes it all the more inspiring…

For the sake of the story, we’ll call the little boy Chris and his friend Ryan…

*          *          *

Two weeks before Christmas, Chris came home from school with something on his mind.  He went to his father for some clarity.  Apparently he was talking with Ryan, one of his best friends, about how excited he was getting about Christmas.  His friend became sad, so Chris asked him, “what’s wrong?”  Apparently, Ryan doesn’t get many presents at Christmas time, mostly clothes and things he needs for the year, but very few, if any toys.  So Chris went to his Dad and asked him, “Dad, when Santa goes to Ryan’s house, why doesn’t he leave him any toys?”

Now what Chris was too young to understand was that Ryan’s home life was very different from his own.  Ryan’s parents are divorced, he lives with his Mom, who is working two jobs — barely making ends meet.  Chris’ Dad had to come up with something quick to explain the situation and keep Chris’ faith in Santa Claus alive.

He explained to his son that, “See Santa goes to everybody’s house on Christmas, but your Mom and me also give you additional presents on top of what Santa brings.  But Ryan’s Mom can’t afford to give him as many things as your Mom and I are fortunate enough to get you.”

Immediately, Chris became very serious, his mind working extra-hard to come up with a solution.  He looked at his father and proposed, “Well I still have a bunch of gift cards left over from my birthday.  What if I use those to buy extra presents for Ryan?”

His Dad, so moved by his son’s plan responded with, “If you really want to do that then I will match whatever amount of money you have in those gift cards and we’ll buy him presents together.”

Chris had saved around $150 in gift cards so his father held to his word, bringing the total to almost $300.  Just before Christmas they went to some of Ryan’s favorite stores and bought a bunch of video games and toys that Chris knew Ryan would love.  Chris and his father went home and wrapped each of them, labeled them…

To:                        Ryan

From:                  Santa

Early Christmas morning they packed all the presents into two big bags and Chris and his father got in the car.   They drove to Ryan’s house and Chris’ Dad parked the car.  He turned to his son and said, “Alright buddy, this is all you — go ahead.”

So now picture this little boy dragging two bags as big as him, overflowing with presents in shiny wrapping paper, up the front steps.  He got to the top and rang the doorbell.  Ryan opened the door, surprised to see his friend standing there.  He asked Chris, “What are you doing here, it’s Christmas morning?”

Chris looked at him, then looked at the gifts and said, “I think Santa made a mistake.  He left all these presents of yours at my house last night.”

Ryan’s eyes lit up.  He thanked his friend for bringing the gifts over and went inside.  Chris turned around, went down back down the stairs and looked at his father with a big smile.  Before he could get to the car, Ryan’s Mom rushed outside in tears and gave Chris a huge hug, thanking him for what he had done for her son.

“You made his Christmas,” she told him.

*          *        *

Ryan wasn’t the only one that benefited from Chris’ gift.  I think this story and his selflessness are absolutely inspiring.  In my opinion, we all could stand to learn a little something from that little boy.

 

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~ by Dan Fabrizio on January 23, 2011.

One Response to “A Christmas Story”

  1. Loved this story, Dan. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of the true spirit of Christmas. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

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