Most of us have gotten our Christmas wishes or something very close to it. But times were different at the turn of the 1900s. When you hear people say that they were poor as a kid, they were truly poor. There are people even today who are poor, but today there are programs and groups to help people. Back then there was no such help.
In the poorest of poor towns, local Santas would visit every year. Coal from him would have been a welcome gift, warmth in the cold weather. Times were tough and the people even tougher. People would get presents from the local Santa helpers…oranges, maybe some candy. If you were lucky, new socks. But for one little girl, she never got that special gift she longed for…a doll. There was never enough money for such a gift. That little girl grew up and had a family of her own. She married a hard working man and they had children that got Christmas presents, food, and warmth. She worked hard all her life taking care of everyone else… She sat there one Christmas watching her great grandchildren get their gifts and noticed that one of the girls got a beautiful curly haired, fancy dressed porcelain doll. She smiled and then whispered to herself “I would still love a doll.”
She moved closer and closer towards where her great-granddaughter sat on the floor playing with the doll and asked if she could hold it. The little girl looked at her great-grandma and pulled the doll closer to herself and ran off into another part of the house to play. The woman sat there with a tear in her eye. They had hired a Santa to be at the family Christmas gathering. He sat there watching her. He seemed to feel her sadness from across the room. He got up and sat by her. He looked at her and knew that she had lived a hard life and helped to raise many children. That grand legacy was all over the house. But like our modern lives…we tend to have a blind eye to all the old and worn parts that surround us. It just happens.
He looked at her and said these words, “Sorry I didn’t get you that gift all those years ago. Times were different and little ones’ wishes can get lost.”
She looked at that Santa and smiled. “We all did the best we could, even you, Santa. I have lived a good life. Yes, it was hard and I worked hard. But so did so many others. We worked hard to give our children a better life, better futures, and better dreams. But you know… Santa, I would still love a doll.”
Being Santa, people would give him gifts of old toys to restore and fix. Earlier that day he had been to another Christmas party and they gave him an old fancy dressed porcelain doll that needed some tender loving care. He took payment in many different ways. Car repair, old toys, and of course money. He knew that doll needed a good home and so he went out to his car and wrapped that doll up for her in Christmas paper. He took it back into the house and walked up to that wonderful older lady. Santa had finally given her the doll she always wanted.
She opened that wrapped gift so slowly. She was so surprised, so excited, and so happy. She finally got it all unwrapped and kissed that doll, held it like a tiny little child would. Through her wonderful tears and laughter, she told him her doll’s name… Amy. That old fancy dressed porcelain doll took a long time to get into the arms of that little girl.
It’s never too late to make a little child’s Christmas wish come true.