Archive for December 25th, 2010

Two Boys, a Pair of Skates, and a Christmas Miracle

December 25, 2010

This story about a Christmas Day miracle sounded too good to be true when I heard a minister relate it last Sunday. I Googled it and found that it was written by a woman named Elizabeth English. The story was originally printed in Guideposts magazine sometime in the 1950s and reprinted in the 1989 book New Guideposts Christmas Treasury and the 2000 book, Christmas in My Heart, Volume 9. Given that stamp of authority, I choose to believe it happened. After all, Christmastime is a magical season and, well, believing in stories like this makes it that much more magical!


Herman and I finally locked our store and dragged ourselves home to South Caldwell Street. It was 11:00 p.m., Christmas Eve of 1949. We were dog-tired.

Ours was one of those big, old general appliance stores that sold everything from refrigerators and toasters and record players to bicycles and dollhouses and games. We’d sold almost all our toys; and all the layaways, except one package, had been picked up.

Usually Herman and I kept the store open until everything had been picked up. We knew we wouldn’t have awakened very happy on Christmas morning knowing that some little child’s gift was back on the layaway shelf. But the person who had put a dollar down on that package never appeared.

Early Christmas morning our 12-year-old son, Tom, and Herman and I were out by the tree opening up gifts. But I’ll tell you there was something very humdrum about this Christmas. Tom was growing up; he hadn’t wanted any toys—just clothes and games. I missed his childish exuberance of past years.

As soon as breakfast was over, Tom left to visit his friend next door. And Herman disappeared into the bedroom, mumbling, “I’m going back to sleep. There’s nothing left to stay up for anyway.”

So there I was, alone, doing the dishes and feeling very letdown. It was nearly 9:00, and sleet mixed with snow cut the air outside. The wind rattled our windows, and I felt grateful for the warmth of the apartment. Sure glad I don’t have to go out on a day like today, I thought to myself, picking up the wrappings and ribbons strewn around the living room.

And then it began. Something I’d never experienced before. A strange, (more…)