The Community of Miracles
The mother had sat three of her four children down and explained Christmas couldn’t happen this year unless a miracle happens. The youngest was four and all he had talked about was a toy car he wanted that he had seen in the store. The older kids were ages 8-up and knew where the toys came from, but little Billy still believed in the man with the white beard called Santa. When the mother explained the hard time, the kids all started chipping in how they could make some money to help get Billy the toy car. The mother hushed them and told the kids that she really appreciated the gestures and gave them a group hug and told them how proud she was, but she would figure out a way to get Billy the toy. She already had taken in extra laundry to wash and iron for the community. She picked up the jobs after she sewn a pair of pants for a neighbor and washed them before she returned them.
Before she knew it others had let her do their mending and laundry and it was enough income for her family to survive on. Her husband had died in a mining accident right after Billy was born, she had learned to make it, even though it meant sometimes she went to bed hungry to make sure her kids were fed. It was a week before Christmas and the winter had been brutal so far. The kids didn’t have school because of the snow, but early every morning they were out the door playing in the snow and only came in to eat. She was super busy washing and ironing for the community and was glad the kids were staying out of her hair, except for Billy who stayed by her side playing with some broken toys he had for months.
On Christmas eve around noon the kids came bustling in laughing and talking where it sounded like 30-kids instead of three. She told them to hush and leave their snowy boots by the door. They all came into the kitchen where she was ironing smiling from ear to ear. The oldest, whom was a girl asked Billy to go with her to look at a snowman they had built outside. As soon as Billy got outside the other two started talking in such an excited tone, she had to calm them down to get the full story. Evidently, they had been working all week shoveling snow and clearing sidewalks instead of playing with their friends like she thought. They had earned enough money to buy Billy the car he wanted, and they held up a bag with a ham, potatoes, and flour for biscuits for their Christmas dinner. The mother hugged the two with tears of pride and joy running down her face.
She had never been so proud and relieved Billy would get his toys. The mother was still heart broken the three wouldn’t have anything under the tree, but gloves that she traded for some mending. That night the siblings waited until Billy went to sleep and put the toy under the tree they had cut in the woods behind their house. This gesture meant more to the kids than them getting toys. They all had gone to bed, but she still had a few more pieces to iron when she thought she heard something at her door. She waited a bit and heard it again. She turned her iron off and went to the door and when she opened the door the porch was filled with Christmas presents. She looked around but didn’t see anyone. There was an envelope on top of the presents and she opened and read it. The letter was addressed to her; Dear Ms. Smith, Your kids showed the community what Christmas was really about, giving to others.
When the community heard of what they were doing to get Billy the toy, we were so overwhelmed we wanted to help also! Merry Christmas and God Bless. Signed, the community. By the time she got all the presents inside the tree was full underneath and flowed out into the floor. She noticed as she placed the packages under the tree there were even presents with her name on them. It had been years since she had received a present. The next morning when the kids awoke and came into the living room it was a joyous moment hearing their excitement.
This was the best Christmas since her husband had died and all she could do was set and cry tears of joy watching her children happy, like children were supposed to be on Christmas morning. When the kids asked her where the toys came from, her answer was, “The miracle of prayers and Christmas came through for us this year!” Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!