December 17, 2021
A little boy demands expensive toys for Christmas and when his mother tells him they can't afford it he calls his parents losers.
It had been a hard year for the Yarrows. Maggie, who had been a successful restauranteur, had gone out of business during the COVID pandemic, and her husband, Jeff, was a struggling writer who did part-time work in construction.
From living in an affluent neighborhood, they'd had to sell their house, downscale to a small apartment, and invest all they had to keep their eight-year-old son Michael in his private school. But Michael didn't understand why he couldn't have what he wanted anymore, and he was more than a little angry.
Michael was determined to get those toys, no matter what | Source: Shutterstock.com
"Mom!" Michael called as he walked into the house a week before Christmas, "Mom, I know what I want for Christmas!"
Maggie sighed. It had been a hard month and there wasn't much left for presents once the bills were all paid! "Hi honey," she said, giving her son a hug, "So what are you going to ask Santa for?"
Michael threw her a superior look. "Oh please, I'm not some little kid! I know there's no Santa -- you and dad buy the presents!"
"Ok Michael," Maggie said. "So what is that you wanted?"
Michael demanded his mother buy him expensive toys | Source: Unsplash
"Nevil is getting the helmet from 'The Mandalorian' and a life-sized Baby Yoda and I want one too!" Michael said.
"Oh honey," Maggie said "I saw that in the store! The Baby Yoda costs nearly $500, and the helmet too...We can't afford that."
Michael stared at his mother. "What do you mean? Why not? Nevil's parents..."
Christmas isn't about getting gifts, it's about giving love.
"Honey," Maggie said quietly. "You know things have been hard since I had to close the restaurant and daddy's job... When things get better we'll get you that Baby Yoda, I promise!"
Michael was furious when his mother said they had no money. | Source: Unsplash
Michael looked at his mother with contempt. "You can't afford it because you're LOSERS!" he screamed. "I HATE YOU!" and he ran off and locked himself in his room.
When Jeff came home, he found Maggie in tears. "Oh Jeff, he hates me!"
Jeff put his arms around Maggie and shook his head. "Maggie," he said, "I think it's time Michael learned a few lessons about what life is really like."
He knocked on Michael's door. "Come out Michael," he said. "We're going for a ride."
Maggie cried when her son called her a loser | Source: Unsplash
Michael came out with a triumphant smile. He was sure his father was going to take him shopping for the toys he wanted, but he was in for a surprise. Jeff stopped the car in front of a big, grey, shabby-looking building.
"Come on," he said, "There are some people I want you to meet." Jeff led Michael into a big room filled with lots of tables where sad-looking people were sitting eating and talking softly to each other.
Another big room was filled with bunk beds, and in one corner a group of children was playing with some broken toys, while their parents watched over them. "What is this place, dad?" asked Michael.
"This is a shelter for homeless families, Mikey," Jeff told him. "People who lost their jobs, just like mom did, and lost their homes, and can't even feed their children.
Jeff took his son to see how homeless people lived with their children | Source: Unsplash
"Those kids? They won't get anything at all for Christmas. In fact, they consider themselves lucky they have a place to sleep."
Michael was looking around with wide frightened eyes. "Is this going to happen to us, daddy?" he asked.
"No," Jeff said. "Because we are very lucky. We have some savings, and money from the sale of our house, and I have work -- but in order to keep a roof over our heads, we have to be careful. You have been a selfish boy, and very rude to mom, and she's been doing her best. And by the way, what are you giving mom for Christmas?"
Michael was ashamed of his attitude | Source: Unsplash
Michael looked surprised. "Why should I give her anything? She's the mom, mom's don't get gifts!"
Jeff sighed. "Michael, do you know why we give presents at Christmas?" he asked. "It's to remind us of the great Gift God gave the world when Baby Jesus was born -- and He came to teach us that the greatest thing we can give each other is love."
Michael whispered, "I haven't given anyone a lot of love, have I?"
"Nope," said Jeff.
On the drive home, Michael was very quiet and Jeff saw a few tears trickling down his cheeks. When they walked in, Michael ran to Maggie and threw his arms around her.
Michael apologized to Maggie | Source: Unsplash
"I'm so sorry, mommy!" he sobbed. "I'm sorry..."
Maggie hugged her boy. "It's alright baby," she said gently. "Why don't you go wash your face and help me make the gingerbread for tomorrow?"
But Michael was biting his lips and shaking his head. "Mom I have that big box in the storeroom full of toys I don't play with anymore -- can we wrap them up and take them to the shelter for the children to open tomorrow morning?"
So Jeff, Maggie, and Michael spent Christmas Eve wrapping presents and were at the shelter early the next morning with a carload of gifts. They watched the kids open the presents, laughing and shouting with excitement, and then Maggie saw that Michael was crying.
The family wrapped Michael's toys and gave them to the children at the shelter | Source: Unsplash
Maggie asked if he was sad to give his toys away but he shook his head. "No, mommy! I've just realized that I'm the luckiest boy in the world, because we love each other, and we have a cozy home to go to."
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