Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby
didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The
thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of
keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless,
even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."
Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five
had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just
never seemed to be enough.
She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning
could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in money and
material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity.
Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the household in their
mother's absence. Three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for
their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve
already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down
to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.
Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.
Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get
dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught
the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the
curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.
Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment. As he
held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and
he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold
when the salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with only a
dime. He noticed a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the
shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if
he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner
looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's
shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for
As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a
boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the
door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality.
All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly the
shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes,
lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers
all tied together with a big silver bow.
Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them neatly into a
long white box. "That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said
reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give
the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing
for his dime! Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just
happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into
his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was
holding open for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas,
son." As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out. "Who were
you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A
strange thing happened to me this morning.
While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice
telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I
wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them
aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and
wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime."
"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy
with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never
knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars.
When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put
together a dozen of my very best roses." The shop owner and his wife hugged
each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air,
they somehow didn't feel the cold at all.