Story by Roger Dean Kiser (Author)
I was never one for putting money in that little red kettle at Christmas time. I do something else. Every year I pick a name, or two, off the children’s Christmas tree inside the local mall and I try and buy something personal. Last Christmas, I picked three names off the tree and purchased three pairs of shoes and three watches. I generally don’t spend much money on the shoes, maybe $15 a pair. But the watches, now that’s another story.
Several days ago my wife and I went to the supermarket to buy groceries. Since I’m on a low cholesterol diet I didn’t want to fight with her over what food items to buy, so I decided to go next door to the pharmacy and pick up my “old person” medicines for the month of March.
As I waited in line, there was a woman in front of me with three children, ranging in ages from about 4 to 8 years old. She had five prescriptions but did not have enough money to pay for the cough syrup which was evidently not covered by her Medicaid card. The gentleman standing behind her asked the pharmacist how much the medicine was. He told the gentleman that the cough syrup was $12.95. The gentleman told the pharmacist that he would pay for the purchase on his account. The woman looked down to the floor and thanked the gentleman for his kindness.
The little 8 year old boy, who was sitting next to his brother and sister who were both coughing, got up from his chair and unbuckled his watch from his wrist and held it out to the man.
I noticed both the watch, and the shoes, the young boy was wearing were exactly the same type that I had purchased at Walmart for the underprivileged children whose names had been hanging on the Christmas tree.
“That’s a mighty fine watch,” said the man, as the young boy held it out to him.
“You can have it for the medicine,” said the boy.
“Can’t do that. That’s a very expensive watch,” said the man.
The young boy strapped the watch back on his arm and smiled real big, as he sat back down in the chair.
“Santa gave me this ’cause I’ve been a good boy,” said the young man.
The man turned around and said, “That Santa is one smart fellow.”
It is amazing to me how we can spend millions of dollars every year trying to make a difference, and with very little result. Yet a $39 watch and a $15 dollar pair of shoes from Walmart can change the life of a child forever.
To know more about the Author: The Books and Stories of Roger Dean Kiser