What Christmas Means To Me

I was flat broke ten Christmastimes ago. I brought my entire cd/dvd collection to an independently owned store that often accepted these items for cash or store credit. I walked in with two filled plastic grocery market bags and got in the line for the cashier. I was in a bad mood because I did not want to part with my collection and I was broke at the worst time of the year. I was the last person in line from the time I joined it until the time I was next. All of a sudden, a lady partially obstructed my path to the cashier. She was holding some merchandise. I did not know if her intention was to cut in front of me or just ask a question. I got upset but remained silent. As the customer at the cashier’s counter received his receipt, I made sure to hurry around the lady and put my bags up on the counter. The cashier informed me that the store was not currently giving cash or store credit for used items. I was crushed because this was my last shot at having spending money for the rest of the year. I lifted my bags off the counter and left. As I headed toward the bus stop, a lady’s voice called out to me from behind. I turned around and saw the lady who had partially obstructed my path to the cashier. She gave me $100 cash and said, “Merry Christmas!” I was shocked. I told her that I could not accept it. She just smiled and walked back toward the store. I told her, “God bless you.” Christmastime is very special. It brings out the best in the people who celebrate it. Stevie Wonder’s What Christmas Means To Me (1967) elaborates on these points. It is a wonderful song that is worthy of its own subject.

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