(a flowering Christmas story)
Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby
didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The
thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of
keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not 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 to
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five
had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there
just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the
small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far. What the
family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in
love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran
the house hold in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters had
already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair.
Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down
to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked
from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed
so beautiful and so out of reach.
It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when
suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting
off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny
dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that
As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire
body and 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 only a dime. He saw a flower shop and went
inside to wait in line. When the shop 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 shop 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 even though he was a boy, he could
see why mothers and girls liked flowers.
The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back
to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.
Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the
counter. There, before
Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and
tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart
sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white
box. "That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said
reaching out his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be
No one else would give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened
to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box
into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner
was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas,
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked
out. "Who were
you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own
eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was
setting up things to open 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, many years
ago. I too, was a
poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. 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 who that voice
was, and I
put together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and his
wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter
cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.
May this story instill the spirit of CHRISTmas in you enough to pass this
act along. Have a Joyous and Peace-filled season.