A Belated Christmas Carol

Many years ago when I owned a salon in Tiburon, California, I was thumbing through <u>The Ark</u>, the local rag, when I ran across an article about a client’s son, a noted real estate developer. I was surprised and pleased to see this pillar of the community was playing Santa for a group of children. Naturally, when later that week, my client came in for her regular visit, I said, “Polly, I see that David is playing Santa. What brought that about?”

“That’s what he does,” she replied.

When I gave her a puzzled look, she expanded. “Every Christmas he is Santa.”

Still not clear, I pressed for an explanation. She related the following story.

Many Decembers past, when David was still in college, he found himself at a bus stop near some apartments. I’m sure you know the kind: a row of windows below sidewalk level. One window was cracked and through it he heard a father berating his children.

“No, goddam it. There’s no Christmas. There’s no Santa. And you’re not getting any presents. Me and your Mom are going to the bar and you’re staying here. Shut up. I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Outraged by what he had heard, David resolved to do something about it.

On Christmas Eve, he and some friends watched until Dad and Mom left for the bar. When he was certain they had vanished, he knocked on the apartment door. The children opened the door to see David dressed as Santa and his friends dressed as elves. They had brought a tree, ornaments, presents for the children, a gift for Dad, one for Mom and a complete Christmas dinner.

Once the place was decorated, Santa and his elves departed. To this day, he doesn’t know if, on their return, the sotted parents realized the profound gift they were given, or simply trashed everything. The one thing he does know: those children would never forget.

Although I am late in wishing it, whether it is a holiday you observe or not, Merry Christmas.

Raymond Bolton

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10 responses to “A Belated Christmas Carol

  1. What a neat story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Awwww, what a great story!

    K

  3. An amazing story. One we all can learn from. Thanks for sharing and I hope you had a Merry Christmas and i wish you a very Happy New Year!

    Wally

  4. Just the right story for the season. Give more, take less, and be happy with what you have.

  5. I was very privileged to have had my business in that town. My clients included ambassadors, CEOs, professional athletes, movie producers and numerous other brands of achievers. I have lots of stories, but this is one of my favorites.

  6. That was an awesome story, Raymond.

    It reminds me of something that happened the Christmas of my seventh grade year. I grew up in a very poor family and some Christmases were harder than others on my parents. This one year we lived on the second floor of a two-family house with my aunt and uncle and their children (also very poor) living on the first floor. A few nights before Christmas, somebody threw a ball of icy snow at one of our doors. When we all ran out to see what had made such a racket, we found several trash bags full of wrapped presents (covered in clumps of snow and ice) sitting on the porch. The presents were for both of our families and addressed to each of us by name. The tags simply said “From Santa”.

    They were obviously from somebody who knew us since they knew all of our names, but we never found out who it was. It was one of the most memorable and wonderful Christmases. Even though I was old enough to know that Santa wasn’t real, it still made me believe in him just a little bit.

    Many years later, I did nearly the same exact thing for a friend who had fallen on tough times and couldn’t afford a decent Christmas for her kids. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to pass on the Christmas Spirit in such a way.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Raymond. And may the spirit of Santa Claus live in us all.

  7. What? You mean there really isn’t a Santa 😉 Sweet story, Raymond xox
    eden

  8. Thanks Raymond. This brings tears and cheers to my heart. I hope those kids drew strength from that experience. And it is a reminder of the power in our potential to make a difference. Stephanie

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