This is a contunation of a little Christmas story I wrote. Read part 1 here.
Miracle Santa (Part 2)
Within four seconds, everything in the coffee shop was gone.
Shapes and colors appeared around us. And soon I was standing in the middle of a mall.
“How did this happen?” I turned to the man with the scarf beside me. “Did you bring us here?”
“I said I could change your mind.”
I didn’t have time for this weird stuff. I had to get my coffee and get to the hospital. “But…” I started.
The man held a finger to his lips. “You’ll miss it.” He pointed to a line of children waiting to get on Santa’s lap.
Great. All I needed to see was more spoiled kids.
A little boy climbed unto Santa’s knee as his grandma stood by and watched. I waited for him to start his long list, but instead he pulled a picture from his pocket.”
“Who’s this?” Santa asked in his cheerful voice.
“She’s my sister,” said the boy. “Her name is Sarah and she wanted to come with me to see you so bad.” He looked at his lap, “But she can’t. She’s really sick and can’t leave the hospital.”
I was touched that a little boy would think to mention his sister, but I didn’t see how this was supposed to change my mind.
Santa gave his condolences and then asked the boy what he wanted for Christmas. When the boy was done telling Santa, his grandma came and helped him off of Santa’s lap. The boy ran to the elf who was giving prizes to everyone who visited Santa, but the grandma stayed.
“I know it’s too much to ask,” she said to the mall Santa, “but my granddaughter, the girl in the picture, has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays.” Her eyes began to glisten. “I was hoping that you would visit Sarah. She only asked for one thing for Christmas. To see Santa.”
Even through the fake beard and curly white hair, I could see that Santa was swallowing back emotion. He told the woman to leave the information with the elf, and he would visit the little girl.
Suddenly, the bright greens and red of the decorated mall began to fall away just as the coffee shop had and the bright colors was replaced by white walls. I was standing in a hospital room.
The boy and his grandmother were there along with a man and woman who must be her parents. They were gathered around a hospital bed that held a pale young girl. Her light hair was thin, and there were patches of her scalp that were bald.
I looked at the man in the scarf.
“Won’t they be upset to see some strangers in their room?”
“Don’t worry. They can’t see us.”
The door opened and in walked the Santa Clause from the mall.
“Santa!” Sarah’s eyes lit up. She stretched her frail arms out and Santa came close for a hug.
“I knew you’d come!” Her blue eyes stared at him admiringly.
Sarah chattered away to Santa oblivious to the tears in the adult’s eyes. My own eyes had tears in them. The mall Santa wasn’t getting paid for this. No one was applauding him. He did it because he wanted to make a little girl happy. He did it because it was Christmas.
Before he left, Santa leaned to the little girl. “Now, Sarah, you have a job to do.” He told her seriously, “You have concentrate on getting well. I expect to see you this time next year.” Then he asked, “Do you believe in angels?” Sarah nodded. Santa took Sarah’s small, frail hand in his. “It may be easier to get well with some help, so I’m going to ask that angels watch over you.”
Sarah smiled. “They will Santa. I’m sure they will if you ask.”
The white room swirled away and I was back at the mall in front of Santa.
“What happened to the little girl?” I asked the old man in the scarf.
“Does that matter? What matters is that someone took the time to reach out to another person who was hurting. That man had his own kids to buy presents for, his own family to spend time with, but he chose to take the time to do something nice for someone else.”
I looked at the man in the Santa costume and thought that maybe Christmas did bring out the good after all. As I was watching, a girl with short blond hair walked up to him.
“Hi, Santa remember me?” she asked. “You visited me in the hospital last year.”
My mouth opened. It was Sarah. She looked so different. Her hair was healthy and her cheeks pink.
Santa’s reaction was much like my own. He looked at her for a moment, then he pulled her into a hug and his eyes filled with tears.
“Christmas is what you make it,” said the man in the scarf watching Sarah and Santa. “You can choose to only see the ads, the companies trying to sell their products, and spoiled children. Or you can see the good that Christmas brings. And what’s more important is that you decide what kind of Christmas you experience. You can join the commercialism, or even ignore Christmas completely. Or you can do something that will change another’s life.”
With those words, the malls rearranged itself and I was back in the coffee shop. I shook my head, feeling disoriented.
The seat across from me was empty. I scanned the room for the man in the scarf, but he wasn’t there.
My name was called and I hurried to get my coffee. I would have to be fast if I was going to make it to the toy store and still be on time for my shift. I couldn’t be Santa, but I maybe a few small gifts would make staying in the hospital for Christmas a little more bearable for the kids in the children’s wing.
I stepped outside, excited to carry out my plan, and whispered to the cold air, “Looks like you win the bet.”
*This story is all I’m posting for the month of December. Our regular posting schedule will continue in January. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! 🙂
This is based off of a true story you can read here: