“Excuse me, Ma’am. What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?” A young reporter doing a shoot on the mall Santa Claus pushed a microphone in front of my face.
I shyly said, “I’m sorry…I don’t have the time right now.” I quickly walked away and entered a store where I thought I could find the perfect gift for my sister, Annie, plus get away from the reporter. I saw the reporter shrug his shoulders to the cameraman and turn to find another shopper to ask.
Annie had simple tastes. It was so important for me to find the perfect gift for her, that I spent several lunch hours in the mall searching for that perfect gift. I had the same high expectations in all my gift buying. It was so stressful to please everyone, but it’s Christmas…things needed to be perfect.
The mall was so busy. As I passed the toy store, I heard the high-pitched wails of children who were too excited about the possibility of the gifts they would receive. One child was lying on the floor in rebellion. I just kept on walking past this store.
The soft sounds of “Noel” were being played over the speakers. I strained to feel that peace, yet my eyes saw the hustle and bustle of the many shoppers. I saw in the distance the dozens of children waiting in line to see Santa. It looked like they needed more elves for crowd control.
Going from one store to the next, I decided to stop for a cappuccino. Perhaps there would be a quiet corner to enjoy this treat. As I walked to the stand, I noticed a small nativity scene being set up towards the back. A little girl with a red coat was quietly watching them put the scene together.
I walked over to her with my cappuccino. She looked up at me and smiled. I returned the smile and said, “Hi!” She pointed to the workers and said, “They’re building a stable, where the animals stay. That’s where Jesus lived. They’re almost done! I think I would be scared to sleep there.”
I smiled at her simplicity. “Oh, I don’t know. You look like a pretty brave young lady to me.”
She shook her head. “Mommy said that Jesus can help me be brave. That’s why I came here…to be with Jesus. Sometimes I get scared without my mommy.”
Thinking the little girl may have been lost, I asked, “Honey, where is your mommy?”
“She’s with Jesus, and she said she wouldn’t be scared ever again with Him. So the closer I get to Jesus, the more I won’t be scared. That’s what my mommy said. She said you can get a lot of peace from Jesus, because He can get so close to you…like He’s hugging you from the inside.” With that, she sat on the floor next to the Baby Jesus figure.
I walked back over to the coffee stand and bought a hot chocolate. Returning to the Baby Jesus figure, I handed the little girl the hot chocolate. Her dimples emerged with her smile. She said, “Thank you!”
I knelt down next to her knowing that the perfect gift I was searching so hard for was found by a little girl, who shared her treasure with me.
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