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Angel Tree

All she wanted was to make one child’s Christmas wishes come true. But was it too late?  

Christmas was just a few weeks away, and I strolled through the department store, picking up a few items for someone special. Every year I pick a needy child’s wish list from the “Angel Tree” at my local mall, hoping to spread a little of the holiday spirit.

Wristwatch, check. A pair of athletic shoes, size six, check. Finally, I grabbed a yellow fleece jacket off the rack and brought everything to the register. It made me feel good picturing that little boy on Christmas day, his eyes lighting up as he opened his presents. I paid the cashier and decided to take the gifts home to wrap them myself, planning on returning to the mall that night to leave them at the drop-off spot. Just a few more errands to run first, I thought.

The day flew by, and I arrived home much later than I expected. I felt absolutely beat. I barely touched my dinner. I went to bed early. The next morning I woke up with a fever. The flu. Oh, no. Not now…

It was days before I could resume my Christmas preparations. The Angel Tree! I completely forgot to drop off the gifts! I hopped in the car and sped to the mall, praying that it wasn’t too late. But when I got there, the tree was gone. The deadline to drop off gifts had passed. My heart sank. I turned and headed back home. That poor child won’t get anything for Christmas this year and it’s all my fault!

That Sunday I was sitting in church listening to the prayer requests when a woman mentioned a grandmother who was raising her grandson by herself and couldn’t afford any gifts for Christmas. Could this be my chance to make up for what I did? I thought.

I went up to the woman afterward. “How can I help?” I asked.

“She put her grandson’s Christmas wish list on the Angel Tree, but they still haven’t received anything,” she said.

Right away I perked up. Could it be? “What did he ask for?”

“A wristwatch, a pair of athletic shoes, size six, and a warm jacket, in his favorite color, yellow,” she said.

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