You get to choose one gift — no price restrictions — for any person you want. The caveat? You have to give it anonymously. What gift would you give, and to whom?
I’d heard the name before. It seemed like it was mentioned when I walked in the stores. I glanced in the direction of where the people were pointing and there they were. Two parents and seven kids.
Dad looked like he had not changed clothes for a good month. His skin was stained from something. It had a dark look to it. Mom was wearing something from years ago. A skirt, a little too tight, hung down to her shoes. An off-white blouse which buttoned down the front but it looked from where I stood that a couple of buttons were missing.
A baby was crying and Mom was trying to soothe the child’s cry. A few of the kids were dancing around the cart as if they were at the peak of their day. Dad was talking and pointing to the prices. Mom had her calculator out, and I am sure she was doing a run on the numbers to keep to their food budget.
I noticed one of the kids shoes flopped up and down as each step was taken. I pulled my jacket closer to me as I realized not one of those family members had any kind of warmth wrapped around them.
I listened to the gossip but instead of getting my jollies, I stood off to the side and sneaked down an aisle close to the family. I stayed back but I was close enough to hear what was being said. The more I heard, the more my heart broke.
It was evident to me that this family was trying the best that they could. I could tell by words and actions that they loved their children dearly. From the talk of the husband he worked in some mine and it wasn’t mainly from a lack of bath, it was staining from his job.
I saw the kids hair was combed but I could clearly see each head needed a good scrub. I followed them until they were ready to check-out and as soon as they walked out the door, I took something from my purse and tucked it deep inside my pocket.
The father was putting the empty cart back into the cart rack so I took this time to walk up to the car. I walked to the side where mom sat ; she was holding the baby feeding it. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back.
The kids in the back were waving as if they were looking at Santa Claus. They warmed my heart. I asked if it was alright if I spoke to her husband and she looked a tiny concerned. I told her with my smile that it was alright.
I walked over to where the husband was sitting. He had started the family car and then he rolled down his car window and asked if he could help me, was I lost. I said, ” No, I am not lost, but I am one of your guardian angels.”
I pulled out the papers and looked at them for a brief second. I placed the papers in his hand. He began to cry and question why. I said, ” It is Christmas. I want to help you.” His wife leaned over and grabbed my hand shaking it over and over. The kids were in the back two seats screaming with joy.
I wished them all a Merry Christmas and turned and left, walking back to my car. I didn’t need that Christmas bonus near as bad as they did.