“Bye Tommy,” I said waving to the little boy. “Remember to take care of your baby sister and listen to your parents. Have a Merry Christmas. HO! HO! HO!”
“Don’t worry Santa, we will. I hope your Christmas is good too.”
I watched as the boy and family walked away unaware that another child had quickly taken his place. Standing in front of me with a big grin, she announced, “Hi Santa, I’m Sarah.”
“Well Sarah, it’s good to see you again. Now tell me, what do you want for Christmas?”
As Sarah launched into her list, I felt that there was something different about this little girl, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. As she finished telling me what she wanted for Christmas, I said, “You know there is something I would like for Christmas. Do you think you know what it might be?”
Turning to look at me, she asked, “You want me to be good?”
“That’s right! I want you to be just as good as you have been, and try to be even better. Do you think you could do that?”
“Yes” she responded simply. “But,” she added hesitantly, “I’m not done yet.”
“Really,” I remarked surprised at her answer. I could see she was thinking about saying something else, so I waited.
After a few seconds she said, “Santa, if I leave a bag of toys at my house by your cookies, will you take them?”
“I could do that, but why would you leave toys for me?” I asked amazed at this unusual request.
Laughing, she responded, “They’re not for you Santa. They’re for other kids who might want them.”
“That’s awful nice of you. What made you decide to give some toys back?”
“Well I always see people asking for toys for kids who do not have much, especially around Christmas. So when I was helping mom clean my room the other day, I saw some toys in the closet that I never play with anymore and thought someone else would want them. Mom reminded me to tell you about my plan when I saw you today.”
“Sarah, I am very impressed with that. You know what that makes you?”
“Nice?” she asked, not understanding the question.
“Well it certainly makes you nice, but how does giving your old toys to less fortunate children make you feel inside.”
“Happy!” she exclaimed.
“That’s how I feel when I deliver presents on Christmas,” I explained. “You see,” I continued, “when you choose to give to someone else, even if it is just something as simple as helping mom or dad around the house, you get this warm feeling inside. You have given them a gift. Does giving your toys to someone make you feel as good as when you get a present?”
“It does,” she responded quietly, “but at the same time sort of different.”
Giving her a surprised look, I asked, “What you mean?”
“Well…. I like getting presents, especially when I’m not sure what’s in the box,” Sarah admitted adding quickly, “but…. I think I like giving things to others even more.”
“Humm, is that so!” I remarked stroking my beard. “Sarah, I like your style.”
Feeling more comfortable, she leaned in next to me and whispered, “I like kindness.”
“I agree. One time when Ms. Claus wasn’t feeling so well,” I recalled, “I went into the kitchen and made her a pot of her favorite tea and took that and a blueberry scone up to our room. She was reading in bed, but when I came in, Anya gave me the warmest smile. ‘I was just thinking how wonderful some tea would taste,’ she said, ‘and then here you are. Santa, you are so good to me.’ That made me feel…. well…. wonderful inside,” I finished, smiling at the memory.
“Santa, I know what you mean,” Sarah said excitedly. “One time when my Mom was feeling sad, I went across the street from our house where there was a field of daisies and just picked a bunch of them for her. Later when I gave them to her, my Mom hugged me real tight and whispered, ‘You are the best.’ I liked the way it made me feel…. sort of special.”
“That’s a wonderful story,” I responded. “Being thoughtful makes the world a better place. By putting others’ needs first, you are showing an act of kindness and maturity well beyond your age. You now understand the real reason for the season! I am going to tell Ms. Claus about this tonight when I return to the North Pole. Then we will begin sharing your idea with all the boys and girls in the world. Hopefully they will be encouraged to put the toys they no longer play with in a bag for me to pick up when I deliver their new presents on Christmas!”
“That would be great Santa,” she responded smiling broadly.
After giving me the biggest hug I have ever received, Sarah ran straight to her mom. As she squeezed her around the neck, her mom looked at me and whispered, “Thank You.”
As they began to leave, I said, “You have a very special girl there.”
Sarah’s mom responded, “You don’t have to tell me. She’s the best.”
Note from Santa: If you are interested in your child doing the same as Sarah, let them choose toys they want to give away and then leave them out for Santa. Later you can take the toys to one of the many organizations in your area, so that they can give them to other children. The bag shown above can be purchased through Design Blank
I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one January 1st. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until next week . . .