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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)

TITLE: Lisa's Gift
By Alice Zvacek


Lisa walked into the coffee house. She wanted to drink something warm and listen to a few minutes of mindless music – anything that wouldn’t remind her that Christmas was only a few days off. She listened as she stood in line to get her capuccino. The group sounded Christian. As she turned to go, she looked at the band – long hair, jeans, hats – no probably not a Christian group. She relaxed a little.

She found a little table at the back where she could nurse her drink. The music poured over her relaxing her more than anything had in weeks. She went to the counter to get a muffin to go with her capuccino. She heard a voice behind her “I’ll get hers, too.”

She looked at the speaker. She didn’t know him. “Why are you doing this?”

“It’s the time of the year. What better time to be nice than Christmas?”

He walked back to the table he was sharing with his wife and children. When the band took a break, she hesitantly approached the table. “Sir, I want to thank you for buying my muffin. That’s the nicest thing somone has done for me in months. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if anyone has ever been that nice to me.”

Lisa walked back to her table; the man’s wife approached her. “Honey, are you ok? You seem upset.”

“I’ve just had a lot happen recently. Can you tell me, why did your husband do that?”

“Well like he said. It’s Christmas time; it’s the season of giving. My name is Abby. My husband is Mark.”

“I’m Lisa, and your Mark is very nice.”

“Nice really isn’t a word that Mark would use to describe himself. He has really been working on giving. That’s part of the reason that he paid for your muffin. That and Christmas.”

“He gave me a gift -- the gift of hope. My mother passed away a month ago, and I lost my job last week. I really haven’t wanted to wake up much less think about Christmas. “

“He will be glad to know that his giving is working. It’s really hard for him, and our pastor has been talking a lot about it.” Abby said.
Lisa nodded her head “Uh, uh. The ulterior motive. Be nice to people and maybe they’ll get saved.”

“Lisa, do we strike you as people who aren’t genuinely nice?” Abby asked.

“Well, no, but my aunt and the people from her church were nice until they found out I didn’t want to go to their church. Then I heard words like ungrateful, unappreciative, and unworthy.”

“I’m very sorry that they treated you that way! They sound like spiteful awful people. I can guarantee you that we’re not like that. Sure, we want you to come to church and expereince what we have! You can’t be excited about something, and not show it. However, we will still like you even if you don’t go to church.” Abby explained.

“Thank you! I’m sorry I was so harsh” Lisa said.

“I can understand! The band is starting again. Why don’t you come sit with us?”

“I couldn’t!”

“Yes, you could. Come on!”

Lisa sat with Abby and Mark listened to music for the next half hour. When the band finished, Lisa smiled. “That was nice.”

“People shouldn’t have to be alone at Christmas.” Mark said.

“Like I’m not every other day.” Lisa said.

“Lisa, since your mother has passed away, and you obviously don’t want to go to your aunt’s house, what are you doing for Christmas.”

“I guess I’ll do the same thing I do everyday, except that I’ll get to watch parades.”

Mark smiled. “You’re not going to do that. You’re going to come to our house for Christmas dinner.”

“I can’t do that!” She exclaimed.

“Yes, you can. We have extra people for Christmas all the time. You’ll have a great time! I’ll even let you bring something.” Abby grabbed ahold of her arm.

When Lisa climbed in bed that night, she thought about the gift of friendship she had been given. This might be a good Christmas after all!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Johnson11/21/08
I enjoyed reading your story. It is well written and a good reminder of how easy it is to show kindness even amidst the business of the Christmas season. :)
Jan Ackerson 11/23/08
Very sweet story!