Friday, December 3, 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...

Kelly Mac shared with me...her favorite Christmas memory.

Twas nowhere near Christmas
when all through the store,
with fussing and whining
on a tantrum he tore...

I think it was actually summer, and I was picking up a few things I needed for Vacation Bible School. Well, Riley apparently wasn't in the mood for shopping at Hobby Lobby, unless it involved getting a toy. So, all the way to the back of the store there was crying and whining for having to come. All the way back to the register there was crying and whining for not getting the little coloring poster that he wanted. Not one of our better moments.

We stood in line, he with a sniff and a pout and me with a "just you wait 'til we get to the car" glare. Of course there was a long line. As we stood there I noticed the man who was a couple of shoppers behind me. He noticed us too. He looked at Riley and told him to come to him. Riley looked at me for permission and we all traipsed back there. After all, this was a rather scruffy looking old man. He was sitting in his wheelchair being pushed by a lady. I wasn't sure if it was his wife or daughter.

I did start to get a little concerned when he looked at Riley and said, "I want to show you something" and proceeded to dig around in his pants. Maybe being polite to elderly strangers wasn't such a good idea this time. To my relief, he produced a wallet.

This whole time, he's never cracked a smile. There was no, "Hi, how are you" chitchat. He leaned over, got almost nose to nose with my little troublemaker and asked,
"Do you know who I am?"
Riley shook his head slowly back and forth. "No sir."
The lady behind the chair smiles at me.
The old gentleman whips open the wallet.
Riley's eyes grow very big.
His brother, who has been standing quietly behind him, also has eyes as big as saucers.
Complete silence.
There, in that wallet, was a beautiful photo of the man, handsome and dressed up in his red suit. The lady who pushed the wheelchair was dressed in a matching outfit. They were surrounded by many other people dressed in elf outfits. It was a family picture.
He gave them a few minutes for it to sink in.
They stared and stared.
They were face-to-face with Santa Claus.
Then he leans back over to my speechless son and says, in a still stern voice,
"Now you better not pout...and you better not cry."

You can bet I didn't have any trouble out of my kids for a VERY long time. You'd best be on your best manners when you're out shopping. You never know who you might run into, especially at Hobby Lobby.

What about you, what's your favorite Christmas memory?


Anonymous said...

Love the memory. Only Riley!

Debra Ganas said...

That is a cute story. And we are so glad to know santa and Mrs. Claus shop at Hobby Lobby too.
Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. And I agree, Oma Ruth does have lots of pretty things. I will be posting more soon.

Karen said...

Kelly, girl ... you always make me smile! :)

Karen Allen

JennaLane said...

That is a great story! Poor Riley, he got a lesson that day!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the story!! Loved it! My favorite Christmas stories are just starting as Jordan is now at a age where he understands better can not wait for the stories to come as his brother joins us and they grow together!

Back to your story....Sometimes aren't you just thankful for strangers!

Kelly Mac said...

Yes, sometimes they are able to get across a wonderful lesson. It's so funny to hear him tell his sister, "Now don't act like that, 'cause one time I was at Hobby Lobby..."

We all have the ability to make an impact, even if we don't favor Santa, if we just look for the opportunity and take it. He could've just sat there and grumbled to himself about seeing another cranky kid and worn out mother. I'm thankful he didn't.