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Timmy’s Day of Christmas Shopping

A Christmas Story About Giving

“Mom, do you think $8.17 is enough to buy Susie a bicycle?”

Timmy looked over the breakfast table at his Mother, anxiously awaiting an answer. Mrs. Thomas was a bit flustered by this request. Timmy was protective of his little sister, Susie. Yesterday Susie had tried to ride Timmy’s bike, but it was a little too tall for her. She had fallen off and scraped her knee. This had upset Timmy – perhaps more than Mrs. Thomas had realized.

“Timmy, Christmas is coming. I think Santa Claus will bring Susie her very own bike. It’s on his list.”

“Really?” said Timmy. “Do you know what’s on Santa’s list for me?

“Actually, I do.” Timmy’s eyes lit up. “But,” said Mrs. Thomas, grinning as she put her finger to her lips, “it’s a surprise.”

“Oh,” said Timmy with disappointment in his voice. He hesitated, then said, “I counted out my money in my piggy bank. It was $8.17. Do you think I could buy Susie and Billy presents with that much?”

Mrs. Thomas thought before she answered. “Timmy, I think it’s very sweet of you to think about buying presents for your sister and brother. However, I don’t think your $8.17 will go very far for presents.” Timmy’s face fell. Mrs. Thomas continued. “How about if I give you a little extra to help your kindness out? Say $20.00? We could go shopping tomorrow – just you and me so your presents will be a surprise for Susie and Billy.”

Timmy’s face brightened, “Oh, Mom, you’re the best! I can’t wait!” With that, he ran off into the playroom.

All the rest of the day, Mrs. Thomas noticed Timmy carefully observing Billy playing with his train set and Susie playing with her dolls and toy animals.

The next day, Timmy and his Mother set off for the local store. Under the watchful eye of Mrs. Thomas, Timmy roamed the shelves of the toy department. First, picking out an expensive train set for Billy. Then, his Mother had to tell him the disappointing news that the present would take much more money than he had. 

He picked out a chemistry set next, then a toy robot. Each time he would look at his Mother, and she would shake her head and mouth, “Too much money.”

At this point, Mrs. Thomas heard her name and turned to see Reverend Piper. “Hello there, are you shopping for toys, too, Rev. Piper?”

The Reverend was the pastor of their church. “Yes, I was trying to find some toys for the children on our Angel tree. So many little boys and girls will not get any toys this Christmas if we don’t help Santa out, you know.” He winked at Mrs. Thomas as he nodded toward Timmy.

“Oh, that’s so nice of you. May I give you some extra money to help you pay for those purchases?” She ruffled through her purse and found a twenty-dollar bill, which she gave to Rev. Piper. She looked carefully in her wallet to find two ten-dollar bills. She bit her lip and whispered something to Rev. Piper, and they exchanged the twenty-dollar bill for the two ten-dollar bills.

Rev. Piper approached Timmy. “Are you looking for something in particular, Timmy?”

Timmy nodded and told Rev. Piper his plan to get his sister and brother gifts with his $28.17, but so far found everything very expensive – more than he could afford.

Rev. Piper told Timmy he was planning to get gifts for children that would otherwise not get gifts at Christmas.

Timmy looked at Rev. Piper with big eyes. “Have they been bad all year long? Is that why they are not getting presents?”

Rev. Piper hesitated, then, with his hands held behind his back, crossed his fingers, and said. “No, no, it’s just that some children’s families aren’t as blessed as your family Timmy. So Santa has asked that I provide them with some toys.” He quickly changed the subject. “What are you giving to Susie and Billy?”

Timmy sighed, “Well, Susie like dolls and stuffed animals. Yesterday she said she wanted to become a vet … vet-train-e-um when she grows up.”

“Oh, a veterinarian? An animal doctor?”

With tears in his eyes, Timmy nodded his head and said, “And Billy loves trains, but everything is too expensive.”

Rev. Piper placed his finger alongside his nose and said. “Oh, come with me. I think I saw something that might work, and they weren’t very expensive.”  Rev. Piper led Timmy down the aisle to a bin of toys. It was marked $8.99. He rummaged around and found just what he wanted – a brightly colored, red, blue, and black train engine that was a wind-up toy! “Here, try it out and see if Billy would like it.”

Timmy placed it on the floor and wound the big metal key. The train chugged along on the floor and went all the way to where Timmy’s Mother stood!

Timmy clapped his hands and said, “Oh, Mommy! Won’t Billy like this? And it’s just $8.99!”

“I think it’s wonderful, Timmy. Of course, Billy would be pleased with that! Have you found anything for Susie yet?”

“Not yet, but we are still looking.” Timmy took Rev. Piper’s hand, and together they walked over to the girl’s toys and began looking. Timmy spied a small basket with a pretend cat lying inside and many extra toys for the cat wrapped in cellophane, but it was too expensive. Finally, they came across a shelf marked half-price. There sat the perfect gift for Susie – a Pet Care set with a plush dog and accessories like a play stethoscope, bandages, and several other things to take care of a sick pet friend. The cute set was just $10.99.

Rev. Piper took out his phone and added how much it would cost Timmy to purchase both the train and the pet set. “Let’s see, $8.99 plus 10.99 equals …” He punched a button. “Just $19.98 and seven cents percent tax would be $1.40. That would equal $21.39, and you have how much to spend?”

“$28.17”, Said Timmy and his Mother simultaneously.

“Ah, that leaves you $6.78, just enough to get wrapping paper and ribbon to wrap the toys.” Rev. Piper said.

Timmy pulled at Rev. Piper’s coat. “I think we have those things at home. Instead, will you take the rest of my money to buy presents for the children that aren’t as blessed as me?”

Rev. Piper’s face broke into a wide smile. “…Out of the mouth of babes … Timmy, I think you have found the true meaning of Christmas – that giving is a whole lot more fun than receiving. If we give freely – and with love – our gifts are readily appreciated. When we give to others, we pay tribute to the gift of the Baby Jesus to mankind.”

Rev. Piper looked up at Mrs. Thomas. “I think I have found the makings of a good Christmas sermon. Thank you, Timmy!”

Timmy blushed, and his cheeks shone as red as Christmas cranberries!

Essay

I Am Most Thankful This Thanksgiving

I have no qualms about admitting that I am extra thankful for my dog. Baby, my rescue poodle, she is a gift that keeps on giving.

She was left at the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orlando. Baby was one of three small dogs up for adoption. At eleven years old, she was older than I what wanted. So I was more reluctant than she to be adopted by her, but she won my heart by being sweet and needy when we first saw each other. She jumped up and all but begged me to love her. How could I not adopt her when I saw the poodle-shaped cloud in the sky above the adoption center? A sure sign that she was the dog for me.

I will always be grateful for Baby’s companionship during the long, lonely days of COVID. She taught me to be patient and calm while I taught her to exit and enter the house through the doggie door. She makes me laugh. She quickly learned that the way to get a treat was to go through the door. However, it took me a long time to realize that when she wanted a treat, she would go out the door and refuse to come in until I gave her a treat. She is a smart dog.

She is a good listener, too. Baby gives me rapt attention when I read her the stories I have written for the Ink & Quill group. However, she can be a tough audience sometimes as she yawns and shuts her eyes when I get too verbose.

Baby loves to share too – my food – but not hers. She is my little vacuum cleaner – snuffling along the rug under my feet, gathering crumbs dropped from my dinner. Her rule is anything that lands on the floor is fair game for her.

Baby enjoys going for rides in the car. But boy, does she give her opinion about me leaving her at home. It’s usually a loud, barking tongue-lashing as I re-enter the garage. But as soon as I am in the house, she is happy that I am home. Funny, Baby rarely barks at anyone but me. Not exactly a good watchdog. She follows me from room to room and is known to be under my feet when I am in the kitchen, but she has never tripped me.

In the last few months, she has invented a new game. It’s called the throw-the-pillows-on-the-floor-and-watch-Mom-pick-them-up game. Why she insists on tossing the pillows on the floor, I have no idea. As exasperated as I can sometimes get because of her antics, I am ever so grateful for her coming into my life. I am extra thankful this Thanksgiving for my companion, my dog, Baby.

Marie

Poem

A Special Poem for a Special Veteran

August 7, 2022                       

Oh dear, I have been remiss in posting here on my blog. I get so busy writing other things I forget to post them! However, an opportunity came my way to write something very special for my niece’s husband’s father, Jim Jaklich.  He is singled out to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. As part of that honor, on the flight back home the honorees are treated to a Mail Call of cards, letters, and children’s pictures to say Thank You for your service. So I wrote a poem for him. If you are unfamiliar with the Honor Flight Network, check out their website at https://www.honorflight.org/.

With no further ado – here is the poem, I hope you enjoy it!

Thank You For Your Service
By Marie Staight

“Thank you for your service,”
 Seems so trite to say.
I get undeniably nervous
Because my stumbling words betray
The heartfelt feelings that I hold 
For those of you that were so bold
To swear an oath to defend
Our nation and your family. 
It’s hard for me to comprehend, 
But you served throughout the calamity.

So know that there is much more
Than these spoken words expressed
In my heart to say for your service in a war.
Please understand I am stressed
To convey my feelings for such devotion
That you would put your life on hold.
For our brave nation
It fills me with chills so cold.
So my words to recognize your sacrifice?
“Thank you for your service.” Must suffice.


Please feel free to pass on this poem to your favorite veteran, but just make sure to give me credit for its writing!

Thanks for stopping by. Why don’t you look around my blog while you’re here?

Maybe even become a follower? Marie Staight

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An Interview With the Easter Bunny

This is the transcript of the popular radio show Meet The Celebrity recorded on 4/1/22. The interviewer is our esteemed radio show host Don Orange.

Don Orange: Good afternoon listeners! This is Don Orange coming to you from our studio in the great city of Fantasy, USA. Today we have a real treat for you – an interview with the original Easter Bunny himself, Mr., Benjamin Bun-neeee. 

Mr. Bunny, May I call you Benjamin? Benny? Benji?

Easter Bunny: You may call me Mr. Bunny.

Don Orange: Alrighty Mr. Bunny, It’s very nice to have you on our program today.

Easter Bunny: I’m sure it is.

Don Orange: Umm, Okay, Let’s get down to it then. Mr. Bunny, there is always the proverbial question when it comes to the Easter tradition of you or your kind bringing Easter Eggs to little boys and girls on Easter Sunday. So the question is – which came first The Bunny or the Easter Egg?

There can be heard in the background a great disturbance in the studio with loud clucking in the background,

Claudia Chicken: B-wok, Bwok! Buc-buc-bwok. Mr. Orange, I just have to interrupt. The question’s answer is obvious! The chicken of course, for how else is the egg to appear?

Don Orange: And you are?

Claudia Chicken: Claudia Chicken, sir. I just want people to know that Mr. Easter Bunny doesn’t do those eggs all by himself. He has the help of millions of Chickens. If it weren’t for us, there would be no Easter Eggs.

Don Orange: Hmm, Miss Chicken has a point, Mr. Bunny. What say you to her argument?

Easter Bunny:  If you would have let me answer before rudely interrupting Miss Chicken, you would know that I was about to give the chickens their due. While it is true that chickens supply the eggs, we must not forget that fairies color them. And the most important part of the whole operation is Moi, who packs them in baskets and takes them to the children. For if the eggs don’t get to the children, what good are the eggs?

Claudia Chicken: Buc-boc-bwok! But if you didn’t have the eggs how could you deliver the baskets, Mr. Bunny?

Don Orange: Hmm, we seem to be moving in a circle here. Let’s move on to the next question? Mr. Bunny, Charlene of Ft. Wayne, Indiana wants to know what is the significance of the eggs?

Easter Bunny: Why thank you for asking such a good question, Mr. Orange. The Easter Egg symbolizes the Son of God’s resurrection, just as the chick comes out of the egg, so did Christ arise out of the tomb on Easter morning.  The tradition of giving eggs dates back to the 1600s when eggs were forbidden to be eaten during Lent. In Medieval England, on the Saturday before Lent started, children would go door to door begging for eggs as treats before they started their fast.

Don Orange: That’s fascinating, Mr. Bunny but why were the eggs dyed and decorated?

Easter Bunny: Later the Greek Church began the custom of dying the eggs red to signify the blood of Christ. Then other areas added the Spring colors of green and yellow to celebrate Spring and the renewal of life.

Don Orange: Oh, that is interesting. Here’s a question from Bruce Jackson of Royal, New Hampshire, he asks why aren’t there more orange Easter Eggs?

Long pause…

Easter Bunny: Well … um, because Oranges aren’t in season yet?  

Don Orange: Hmm… That sounds reasonable. We have time for one more question. Yes. Ms. Chicken, what is your question for Mr. Bunny?

Claudia Chicken: The girls in the henhouse all want to know, What is your favorite color of an Easter egg?

Easter Bunny: Well, it’s very hard for me to pick because I love almost every color other than Black. So I would say … Hmm… a rainbow color. That would be my favorite.

Don Orange: Oh well said, Mr. Bunny! I’m afraid we are all out of time today. Tune in next week to Meet The Celebrity when I interview that wonderful actress, Judy Drench. Find out her secret to staying young.

Until then Happy Easter!

Poem

Celebrate! I Want You To Be Happy Day, March 3rd

The idea of I Want You To Be Happy Day is a day to show love, care, and concern for other people, even if things aren’t so hot for you. Here’s a poem to start the day.

I Want You to be Happy Day March 3rd
By Marie Staight
Dedicated To Harriet Grimes

It’s such a sweet thing to say,
On ‘I Want You To Be Happy Day.’
There is so many a way
To celebrate and make others gay.

A kindness given to others,
For sisters, brothers, fathers, and mothers, 
Don’t forget friends and strangers, too
Paying forward a thing or two. 

Buy a stranger lunch,
Or perhaps flowers in a bunch
For someone you love
Or think the world of.

Leave a sticky note 
With a happy quote
Tell a joke for a laugh
For others to smile on your behalf.

Brighten someone’s life
Relieving them their strife
By greeting them with a snazzy,
“I want you to be happy!”