The Meaning of Christmas
The soon to be young mother was exhausted. This made her third 12-hour shift this week and her feet and back was killing her. She had worked at the restaurant for over two years where she was the favorite with all the customers with her beautiful personality and charming smile, the owners were great. They knew she needed the extra money for her baby that would be arriving within a few weeks. It was due around New Years and she was excited hoping she’d have him on New Year’s Day. A baby store in the small town where she lived and worked always gave a baby bed to all babies born on New Year’s Day, and she really needed one. She found out she was expecting a baby two weeks after her husband was killed in a car accident. It was bitter-sweet, having a part of him to live on, but a single mom who refused public assistance, it was going to be hard.
She had been saving most of her tips to live on after her son was born. The diner she worked at was small and didn’t offer insurance, she had been paying installments for months at her doctors to have the bills paid before the baby was born. She was very independent and determined to do this on her own. Her parents lived hundreds of miles away and couldn’t afford to help much, and when she did talk to them, she made out everything was great, and all the bills were paid and caught up. She did not want them to worry. It was Christmas Eve and she was so grateful, for two reasons; she was going to get the next day off for a much-needed rest, and Christmas was always great for big tips. She had one more payment and her medical bills would be paid in full.
Her colleagues had been generous with hand me downs from their babies and the baby nursery was almost complete, minus a baby bed, which she was hoping to get on New Years Day. She was a bit worry because it had started snowing that morning and it was coming down hard. If it kept this up there would be no customers for great tips tonight. The snow had let-up around four and the customers started coming in. They were opened until 8pm and it had been a tradition for the diner to host a large Christmas Eve spread that the town went crazy over. By five-o’clock the diner was packed with everyone singing carols, eating and having a great time. The town was small and even the young mother’s doctor was there enjoying the night. She had approached the young mother and voiced her concerns how tired she looked, and she notice how swollen the young soon to be mother’s ankles were where she had been on them all day.
Time had gotten away from everyone and when the snow scrapper employee came in shaking the snow off his hat, he announced the snow was coming down too hard for the scrappers to keep up with it and all roads were shut down until the snow let up. You could hear moans then someone said, let’s make the best of the situation and the singing started again. The soon to be mother was ecstatic with all the tips she had made. She could pay her doctor off in advance and have a little to put back for her days off after the baby was born. It was going to be super tight, but she had faith somehow, she would be okay. She took a break and went to the bathroom to freshen up and that’s when the pain hit, and her water broke! A customer that was in the bathroom summons the doctor and the excitement in the restaurant was contagious.
They made a place in the office for her and the doctor said it looked like she would be delivering within a few hours. It was a hard labor, a few hours later the baby boy was born. Even though the roads had cleared, not one person had left. They all were awaiting the arrival of the baby. When the owner who had been helping with the delivery came out announced all were okay the cheers and laughs were overwhelming. A little girl said, “Look at the clock, it’s a Christmas baby!” No one had noticed but, it was already 12:30am, Christmas morning. After an ambulance took her to the hospital later that night the owner came in with a Christmas bag. The owner said while she was in labor there was a donation taken up and this should be enough to get her through the weeks after the baby was born.
Also, was a gift certificate for a complete nursery, including bed, changing table, rocking chair, stroller, and anything else she would need from the local baby store. There were also dozens of IOU’s for babysitting when the young mother goes back to work. The young mother had tears of Joy running down her face. Her doctor came in the next morning and handed her a check for the entire amount she had paid in advance for the birth, saying she donated her delivery of the baby. A small town rallied around a young mother. This is what Christmas is all about, the birth, giving, and the love of a small town.