A Worthy Cause
Colin, Age 12, Vancouver, BC

I was just about to lock up the door, when suddenly a woman ran up to me, actually almost running me over. On her face was a look of pleading. This was Christmas Eve, so I had already been used to these looks from customers looking for a bargain. She ran up to me and began speaking so fast, I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. I stopped her and told her to speak more slowly. Thus I was tangled into a net of sorrow. She slowly explained to me that she was looking to buy a teddy bear for her 4 year old son. I explained to her that the shop was closed and she could come again on Boxing Day. She explained that the teddy bear was a Christmas present for her son. Her pleading look finally got the more of me, and I opened my shop again for a customer. She said thank you and dashed over to the teddy bears section. There, she brought back a little bear, but she was crying. I asked her why she was crying and she continued to sob. Finally, she began to speak, “I was planning on buying this bear for my son this Christmas, he had walked past the day before, and he had stared at it for eternity.” Suddenly an image came to my mind, I had seen a boy walk past the day before and stare at the bear. When I had looked at him, he had run and seemed ashamed. Then she continued, “I had been saving for his Christmas present since summer, but...but it seems that I still don’t have enough!” Then she continued to sob. She continued to sob and sob. Finally I gave in, how about this, how much money do you have right now? She showed me $3.00. I then was startled, the bear was worth $16.00, what should I do? Then a brilliant plan came to my mind. I then said, “How about you give me $2.00 for now, and you can slowly pay the rest back. Suddenly she smiled, and promised, she thanked me for what seemed like eternity, then she ran off. Suddenly she stopped and invited me for dinner tomorrow, she said she would pick me up. I had no special place to be, so I agreed. She then ran off into the dark shadows, leaving me with a warm feeling.

The next day, she suddenly appeared at my shop again. Again I was startled, when she had said she would pick me up, I thought it would be a car, not a bike! She then rode me over to her home. Her home was a tiny apartment. She had no furniture in her home, all there was 1 table and no chairs. Standing by the table was a boy, he waved to me and I said hi. He did not reply, instantly in my mind I figured he was really rude. Then his mom came and started making signs with her hands. Suddenly all the pieces connected for me, the boy was deaf! We all stood at the table and we ate a meal of canned foods. Around the house, everything, was supplied by the Salvation’s Army. At this time, I realized that being poor was really hard, being able to not be ashamed to receive things from the Salvation Army was even harder. The meal soon passed, and it was time for presents. I watched the mom open her present from her son, it was a card. Then her mom began to cry again, but these were tears of joy. She then handed me a present, I never knew I would get a present. I slowly unwrapped the present to find a little glass dove. Instantly, a thought of seeing it at the dollar store came to my mind. But when I looked at it again, I looked passed the unneeded things, prices and tags, and I saw a dazzling beautiful glass dove in my warm hands. Tears of appreciation flowed from my eyes for a while, then it slowly stopped. Then, the boy started to open his presents, once he saw the bear’s ears, he quickly rose to a fast speed, and in minutes the wrapping lay all over the floor and in the middle of the room was a bear. To me, it was only 1 of millions of bears in my shop, but to the boy it was a wonder! He started crying, and he flew to his mom with his bear in one hand and wrapped her up in a huge bear hug. Then, suddenly his mother whispered something to him. And suddenly, I found myself in a heart-warming embrace. He kept on making signs with his hand of what I think was a huge smile. At that time, rivers of tears perpetually flowed down my cheeks. At about midnight, I finally had to leave the family of 2. The mother thanked me many times, and tears also dripped from the edges of her face.

After the second thank-you, I stopped her and I said thank you to her. I said, “Thank you... for a truly magical, and wondrous evening. On the streets were the sounds of choirs singing on the streets, and neighbors shouting, “Merry Christmas”. As the light from the door slowly diminished, I departed from the scene. As I slowly walked down the street with gentle snowflake landing on my cheeks, I began to wonder if all this had really happened. I recalled the images from my memory of this evening and tears again overflowed my cheeks. This Christmas, I had learned more things than all other Christmases combined together. I had myself, discovered the spirit of giving and the true joy of Christmas. The gale quietly called in the wind, and the snow crunched under my foot. And I continued to wonder, had this evening just been a beautiful dream?

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