It was so exciting to see the delivery truck pull up outside my door. I just knew it had to be the copies of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" with my Christmas story.
Not only do I get paid for the story, but I get 10 free copies.
Here's the story that appears in this issue of the Joy of Christmas.
A Gift From the Heart
I love chocolate, and who doesn’t?
Christmas is a very chocolate kind of holiday, much like Valentine’s Day and Easter. It had been a tradition for my husband to give me a box of chocolates at Christmas, and at the time, the brand he purchased was Nutchos. A swirly mound of milk chocolate filled with ground nuts.
In one of my ‘woe is me’ moments, facing my first Christmas as a single parent after my husband and I separated, I moaned and asked who was going to buy me my Nutchos that year. The sad moment passed and I forgot about that display of my own sorrow.
One day, I took the kids to the local department store and handed them money so they could do their own Christmas shopping. They had orders to stay together, and we had a set time and place to meet up before we headed home.
A short time later I saw the kids, laden down with their purchases. It made me smile, to see their excitement with their first foray into holiday shopping. But as we walked home, I saw one of my son’s purchases hanging out of his bag.
It seemed, instead of using the money for gifts, he had spent the money on a huge bag of Doritos, or chips or some sort of junk food for himself. I was annoyed, thinking that was not the giving holiday spirit I was trying to teach him.
“Why did you buy chips?” I asked. “That money was for gifts for the family, not for you to buy yourself a snack.”
He looked at me, his sad eyes looking hurt, holding back tears. “They’re not for me,” he said. “They’re for you. You wanted to know who was going to buy you your Natchos, and I wanted to make sure you got some.”
Nutchos…made from chocolate and nuts, natchos…a chip made from corn for dipping in a salsa. I guess they could sound very much the same to an eight year old boy.
There was no escape, I had to laugh, I had to cry, and I had to give that thoughtful little boy a big Mommy-Loves-You hug, right there on the sidewalk.
Wasn’t part of that Christmas spirit I was trying to teach him that it’s the thought that counts? He got the message better than I could ever have imagined.