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The Day After Christmas

Story ID:8589
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:Retired
Story type:Story
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Year:2012
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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Mom said to go visit his cousin and see what he got for Christmas. Probably a lot more things the little boy thought. Although his cousin was just as poor as he was. Getting a lot of toys yesterday was not part of the plan. His new pair of socks and boots were nice fitting, and on such a cold day he should not complain too much.

But a neat toy figurine would have been nice, yes, Batman, his hero. He helps people and makes wrongs right. It would have been a lot better than the small, yellow water pistol he received. Yes, not many presents under the tree for anyone. Wasn’t his fault mom worked midnights as a waitress at the Taverne. The only job she could get since dad passed away. He really missed him.

Something across the street caught his attention. It looked like a shopping bag all by itself. Perhaps it was filled with rags, as he crossed over to see. No one was around. Or someone simply forgot it, and was full of trash But then why would it be in a large fancy coloured bag, with reindeer across the front? He lifted the sack, a little heavy, and something crinkled inside.

He did not feel comfortable picking up what must be someone’s lost present. That meant one missing gift from under the tree. Looking around not noticing anyone asking why he was picking it up, he continued down the sidewalk. A peek inside, just one, but his right-and-wrong rules learned at home said NO.

Should he bring the bag home and ask mom what to do? She may say bring it to the Police Department and leave it in their Lost and Found bin. What if it is a neat gift for a lady? He did not have any money to buy mom a present, and this might be a good gift. He could say, a late gift mom. But, that would be lying and mom said…never mind…he got the point. Talking to himself inside was almost like having an imaginary friend.

What to do he wondered, before he sat down on a bench beside a church. Looking around he noticed a manger all decorated in lights. He got up and believed it may be a good idea to ask Baby Jesus what to do. There he was a little doll in place of a baby, and protected by two statues, his mother Mary and Joseph. The little boy wished his dad was still alive, and he could tell him what to do. The boy needed someone strong right now as he faced indecision in his young life.

If he went right home right now, no one would know he found this bag. And he was sure it was something for a good person. But something kept holding him back. A blinking light in his head almost said wait, and think about this some more. Just then he heard someone calling.

Turning around he saw a little girl and her mom. Hurry, she said. That little boy must have found it. Thank you she said as she bounded forward and snatched the bag from the bench. I’m glad I found the owner the little boy said quietly. What would his mom say now he wondered? Would she say he was foolish for not keeping the bag? Or would she be proud he held on to the gift for the real owner?

The happy smile the girl gave was all he needed to know he did the right thing. It’s a Christmas gift for my mother, and I almost lost it, the girl said.

© Richard L. Provencher