Christmas Joy: 25 Cents

A Child’s Happiness….Priceless
December, 1989:
My daughter Elaine was seven (and a half, she would have added) that holiday season. I was in graduate school and making do on a typical single-mom-who’s-a-student budget. We had enough, of course. But we didn’t have a lot of financial wiggle room.

So one morning we went to the local discount store to select gifts for our loved ones. As we approached the store, my little girl spotted one of those coin-operated kiddie rides–I believe it was a car. She trotted ahead, climbed aboard and looked hopefully to me.

I stood there rummaging through my purse for a coin, hoping I had a quarter. I had done a “change raid” on the car the day before to buy gas, so my hopes of finding the necessary coin were slim.

Just then, a Salvation Army van pulled up in front of the store. Two workers got out. The driver opened the back of the van and removed one of their famous donation kettles as the passenger took up his station with his bell.

Then the driver jogged over to the kiddie car and dropped a quarter in the slot.

The car ride began to gently bounce. My child’s face lit up with joy.

I turned to the driver, eager to thank him for that act of kindness. “Just a minute!” I said. He waved, called out “Merry Christmas!” and was on his way before I had a chance to speak.

4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will
reward you.
Matthew 6:4 (NLT)