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this will make you stop and think about life and why we celebrate
The True Meaning Of Christmas

Grab a tissue before you read this.

It was only five days before Christmas. The spirit of the season hadn't yet
caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our Houston
area Target Shopping Center. Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts
and last minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come today? I
wondered. My feet ached almost as much as my head. My list contained names
of several people who claimed they wanted nothing but I knew their feelings
would be hurt if I didn't buy them anything. Buying for someone who had
everything and deploring the high cost of items, I considered gift-buying
anything but fun.

Hurriedly, I filled my shopping cart with last minute items and proceeded to
the long checkout lines. I picked the shortest but it looked as if it would
mean at least a 20 minute wait.

In front of me were two small children- a boy of about 10 and a young girl
about 5. The boy wore a ragged coat. Enormously large, tattered tennis shoes
jutted far out in front of his much too short jeans. He clutched several
crumpled dollar bills in his grimy hands. The girl's clothing resembled her
brother's. Her head was a matted mass of curly hair. Reminders of an evening
meal showed on her small face. she carried a beautiful pair of shiny, gold
house slippers. As the Christmas music sounded in the store's stereo system,
the girl hummed along off-key, but happily.

When we finally approached the checkout register, the girl carefully placed
the shoes on the counter. she treated them as though they were a treasure.
The clerk rang up the bill. "That will be $6.09" she said. the boy laid his
crumpled dollars atop the stand while he searched his pockets. He finally
came up with $3.12. "I guess we will have to put them back," he bravely
said. "We will come back some other time, maybe tomorrow." With that
statement, a soft sob broke from the little girl. "But Jesus would have
loved those shoes, "she cried. "Well, we'll go home and work some more.
Don't cry. We'll come back." He said.

Quickly I handed $3.00 to the cashier. these children had waited in line for
a long time. And, after all, it was Christmas. Suddenly a pair of arms came
around me and a small voice said, "Thank you Sir."

"What did you mean when you said Jesus would like the shoes.?" I asked. The
small boy answered, "Our mommy is sick and going to heaven, Daddy said she
might go before Christmas to be with Jesus." The girl spoke, "My Sunday
school teacher said the streets in heaven are shiny gold, just like these
shoes. Won't mommy be beautiful walking on those streets to match these
shoes?" My eyes flooded as I looked into her tear streaked face. "Yes" I
answered. "I am sure she will." Silently I thanked God for using these
children to remind me of the true spirit of giving.

Christmas is not about the amount of money paid, nor the amount of gifts
purchased, nor trying to impress friends and relatives. Christmas is about
the love in your heart to share with those as Jesus Christ has shared with
each of us. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus whom God sent to show the
world how much he really loves us. Please show this love as we think of the
upcoming season and carry it throughout the year.

God Bless, Have a Very Merry Christmas

Donated by Mrs. P

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