A Holiday Memory About the True Spirit of Christmas

Several years ago I took my then 5 year old niece to a local mall to purchase some Christmas gifts. As we were walking down an aisle in a toy store I noticed a $20 bill lying on the floor, so I bent down and picked it up to confirm that it was indeed a $20 dollar bill.

After confirmation I looked around to see if anyone nearby may have dropped it without noticing. The only person I saw was a customer rep much further down the aisle stocking product.

I made the mistake of saying rather loudly to my niece that someone dropped money on the floor. Well several people came out of nowhere claiming it was theirs. Obviously it could not belong to all of them.

So I told the customer rep stocking product that I found a twenty dollar bill on the floor and asked her if anyone mentioned losing any money or if she’d seen anyone nearby that could have dropped the money. She said no and mentioned to me that unfortunately money has no name on it and of course there is no way to prove whom it belongs to. So she suggested that I give it to charity or give it to my niece who was standing by my side.

I looked at the other people who were still standing around me like scavengers and mentioned that I was going to give it to my niece to purchase a Christmas gift. I was waiting for a nod or approval or something but they all quickly turned and left us there without saying a word.

Needless to say the unexpected gift made my niece very happy and she wanted to buy the presents with her new found fortune but I told her to put it in her piggy bank, which made her even more ecstatic.

Finished shopping we decided to leave the mall and my niece did something I’ll never forget. There was a Salvation Army person merrily ringing their bell outside and my niece decisively walked up to the red kettle and placed the $20.00 bill into the kettle, looked at me, and said I think they need it more than I do. The notion that a 5 year old would give up money to help someone else was very inspiring to me and a testament to the true spirit of Christmas.

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