Surprise Santa

Surprise Santa

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Book of Christmas Virtues

Surprise Santa

A few days before Christmas, a devout Christian couple held the hands of their young son and walked briskly to their nearby church. But the boy pulled back a bit, slowed and came to an abrupt halt.

“Santa,” he whispered. “Santa!”

The four-year-old broke free of his parents’ grasp and ran toward an elderly gentleman with a long, flowing white beard.

Tugging on the stranger’s coattail, the youngster begged, “Santa, will you bring me a teddy bear for Christmas?”

Embarrassed, the couple started to apologize, but the man merely waved them aside. Instead, he patted their son on the head, nodded once, winked wryly at the youngster and—without a word—went on his way.

On Christmas morning, a knock interrupted the family’s festivities. In the doorway stood the old man holding out a large bear with a plaid bow around its neck.

“I didn’t want the little fellow to be disappointed on his holiday,” he explained with an awkward grimace and turned to leave.

Uncomfortable and stunned, the parents could only stutter a weak, “Uh, th-thanks. And M-merry Christmas to you . . . Rabbi.”

Henry Boye

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