My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter went to a Christmas parade recently. In the way
that people often do at parades, my granddaughter, Sarah, struck up a conversation with the
girl who was standing next to her. She was a few years older than my granddaughter, who is
11, but she wasn't quite as outgoing, she was a little more reserved and shy than Sarah.
As the parade wore on, Sarah was happily filling her bag with trinkets and candy being thrown
from the floats and, at one point, someone threw her a stuffed animal (a prize highly valued by
parade goers!). The teenager next to her told her how precious the little animal was as Sarah
placed it in her bag.
A little later, my son happened to look down in time to see Sarah removing the stuffed animal
from her bag and quietly placing it in the bag of the girl next to her. She was trying to do it
without being seen, but the teenager noticed and she was thrilled and thanked Sarah
profusely, as did her grandmother, who was standing behind her.
After the parade, my son asked Sarah about it. She told him that the girl hadn't caught many
throws and she thought it would be a nice surprise if she found the stuffed animal in her bag
when she got home. Her mom and dad told her they were proud of her for being so thoughtful.
I'm proud of her, too: for giving a heart gift to a stranger and for attempting to do it in a way
that wouldn't be noticed. She didn't want thanks, she just wanted to make someone happy.
It wasn't a gift from her pocketbook, it was a gift from her heart.
And a gift of kindness intended to bring joy surely goes to the very heart of Christmas.
|Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store;
maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
-- Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
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|When the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, he discovered that removing
the decorations and presents didn't remove the joy. This Christmas, I
wish each of you much joy. May Christmas come alive in your heart.