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Giving is Special

Story ID:10793
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Writers Conference:My Favorite Holiday Story
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
Year:2015
Person:Neighbors
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I picked up our home phone and saw we’d missed several calls. Someone left a
message for us. I called my message service. Yes, we still have a home phone and voice
messaging. The message said, “Mr. Smith, this is Chara from the Times Transcript. I have
exciting news for you. Please call me back.” She left her number.

I’m a contest fanatic. I enter contests all the time. The Time Transcript is a local
newspaper.

I called Chara back. “Mr.Smith, I am pleased to tell you, you won a free Christmas tree
and a $25 gift certificate to “Meg’s Barn House”. It’s a new coffee shop in the city next to ours.

I didn’t need a Christmas tree. I have my own fake one. I wondered who I could give
this to.

I sat outside. Our downstairs neighbor pulled her car into the parking lot. I watched her
walk to her door, then called out, “Laney, do you guys put up a tree?”

She looked up at me, “We’d love to, but we’re not sure yet.”

“Would you pick a real or fake tree?”

I saw moisture in her eyes. “I’d really love a real tree.”

“Guess what?”

“What?”

“I just won a tree in a contest. I have my tree. My contest win comes with a $25
gift certificate to their coffee shop. Gin and I won’t use it. Have fun and get your tree.”

“Really?”

“Yes! It’s yours. I’m headed to the
newspaper office to pick the certificate up. When I get
back, I’ll give it to you.”

The look on her face; the tears in her eyes, told me money was an issue.

Giving is special.

Michael T Smith