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Saturday, December 22

A Christmas Angel


A knock came at the door. Who could it be? I had to get to work and had less than an hour to be there. I had worked overtime the night before and had only had about four hours sleep. I'd set the alarm and when it went off, I had groaned, but got up and headed for the shower. Just as I finished dressing, the knock sounded. I opened the door to see an old man, dressed in a heavy houndstooth coat standing on my step. Though the snow was deep, he wore only a pair of beat-up running shoes.

"May I help you?" I asked a little impatiently.

"I was wondering if you had a little something that you could spare me to eat," he said, "and maybe a hot cup of tea or coffee?"

I sighed. I didn't have time for this. But as I looked at this poor soul shivering in the cold, I couldn't refuse him. Though my daughter and I had little food in the house, I said, "I don't have much, but I can make you some toast and peanut butter and a warm cup of tea."

"That would be great," he said, rubbing his hands together and blowing on them to try to get them warm.

I wasn't going to let this stranger into my house. I didn't know him and he was a tall man, probably about 6' 2" and his hands were huge. He had a stocky build and I knew that if he wanted to, he could knock me down in an instant. Yet he had the most kind, blue eyes - so blue that it seemed I could look into the depths of his soul.

"Do you mind waiting here?" I asked.

"Not at all," he answered. "Thank you."

I made the man four slices of toast and spread them thickly with peanut butter while the tea was brewing in the pot. I put the food on a paper plate and poured the strong amber tea into a cup. I took them to the step where the man stood and handed the food and tea to him.

"Thanks kindly, Maam," he said.

I went back into the house and went about my business. Before long, I decided to check to see if the man had finished the food and tea. He had, so I poured him another cup of tea and asked him if he could use a warm pair of gloves. I had a pair that had belonged to my late husband and knew that they weren't doing anyone any good on the shelf in the closet. I also took him a pair of work boots that had been my husband's.

As I handed the man the boots and gloves, tears welled in his rheumy eyes. "Are you sure, Maam?" he asked.

"Most definitely," I assured him.

The man sat down on the step and placed the boots on his feet. A perfect fit. Then he pulled the gloves onto his beet-red hands. They also fit perfectly.

I walked into the house and remembered that I had some cookies and a cake in the freezer. I grabbed them and ran out of the house to give them to him. He was nowhere in sight.

We lived in the middle of the block. A church was on one side and a power transformer on the other. I ran to the corner and looked up and down the street. Nothing. I ran around the corner to the church. Again there was no one in sight. Where could he have gone? He hadn't had time to get far enough away that I couldn't see him. How strange!

A week later on Christmas Eve, a taxi pulled up to my door. The driver brought in two large boxes of food. There was everything in those boxes for a Christmas dinner. A turkey, stuffing, bread, butter, potatoes, cranberries, vegetables, candy, cookies and so much more. Who in the world had been so generous?

I asked the cab driver who had sent the boxes, but he said he didn't know. He had been called to a local grocery store and a man had asked him to deliver the boxes to my address. The man hadn't given him a name and the cab driver really didn't understand it. "He looked like a street person," he told me.

As I put the food away, I remembered something that Grandma had told me. "Always be kind to strangers, as you may be entertaining angels unaware."

As I thought of my grandmother's words, shivers ran along my spine. Had the old man been an angel? I believe he was. Whether a heavenly angel in disguise or an earthly angel, he provided our family with a wonderful Christmas feast.

As Christmas approaches each year, I think about my Christmas angel and wonder where he is and who he's helping this year. I certainly hope that whoever it is appreciates his gift as much as my daughter and I did so many years ago.

If you would like to read my story, Bringing Home the Tree, I have posted it on my Treasures to Me blog. Just click on the link to visit.

Merry Christmas to all of my friends and visitors. May the Light of Christmas shine brightly in your hearts and home this Christmas season. ~Blessings, Mary~

18 comments:

  1. What a hear warm story.

    A very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!!!

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  2. Mary this is one of those stories that surely warms the heart and truly is what Christmas spirit is all about.
    Sharing and giving is the greatest gift we can give ourselves! I shall email you Sunday! Prayers please as I had another little fall with the crutches which have now been replaced with a wheel chiar..my wheelie also deemed unsafe for me! :( NG xo

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  3. I prefer to think it WAS an angel. What an inspiration to look for ways to help our fellow man. You never know how or when it may come back to you....

    Wishing you a blessed and joyous CHRISTmas, filled with love, laughter, faith, good friends, good food and beloved family, dear Mary. ;o)

    Love and hugs,

    Diane

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  4. It is in the giving that we are blessed.... what a wonderful story.. I am always blessed with your stories... You have a Merry Christmas my friend and we will visit after Christmas......

    Merry Christmas xoxoxoxoxo

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  5. Good Evening Mary,
    What a wonderful story. I have chills down my spine from reading it. We do indeed have Angels among us. I've always been told and have told my girls, "Do Unto Other's, As You Would Have Other's Do Unto You". I have a story that was emailed to me a couple of days ago. I have 2. I'm thinking of posting one for Christmas Eve and one for Christmas Day. Thank you so much for sharing "THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS". Take care my friend and have a great evening. May God Bless You and Yours. "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to you and yours from our Family. JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!!!

    Love & Hugs,
    Karen H.

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  6. This was really beautiful, thanks for sharing. I pray that your family will have a very merry Christmas. I love you.

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  7. Thanks for posting that inspiring story... it makes us all aware that when we do unto others it will certainly be done unto us!!
    God will always meet our needs if we but ask and wait!!
    Merry Christmas to you my friend,
    Mimi

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  8. A beautiful and heartwarming story, Mary. Thank you for sharing it. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

    Renie

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  9. That's beautiful...so heart warming. And oh how I wish more people were like this.

    Happy Sunday Mary.

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  10. I have that exact saying cross stitched and hanging on my living room wall.

    God bless and keep you. May you have a joyous holiday.

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  11. Isn't it interesting how her heart changed so drastically. She just wanted to keep on giving. Definitely something we all could learn. Yes?

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  12. This is a touching story and a reminder to be kind to all - I also enjoyed your bringing home the tree story!

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  13. A lovely and well written story. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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  14. I loved this story, especially because it was true. It would make a good movie.
    Doesn't it feel good to give to others!
    Mama Bear

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  15. Mary,
    I hope the wreaths are still in place when you get there. I think it will be an awesome sight to behold....

    We visited there one summer. People showed no respect whatsoever. They walked around and talked....so disappointing to me..one funny incident our daughter, Amy, Picketfence Mom, was about 10 years old. She kept looking at the big red faucets here and there. Finally, she flipped one and the irrigation system came on. She yelled "Mama"....I walked on like I didn't know whose she was talking to. Her Dad was right behind her and turned it off.....it's funny now but wasn't so funny then.....

    Thank you for visiting and the comments you so kindly leave...Betty

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  16. A very heart warming story. Thanks for posting this timely piece.
    Merry Christmas!!

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  17. I do believe your visitor was an angel. What a great Christms story.
    Have a wonderful holiday.

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  18. I'm so happy I have time to catch up with your latest series of posts today Mary. Your collection of Christmas treasures, the new ones given to you by your hubby, the sharing of the lovely village with your grandsons, and the postcards are all wonderful, but the telling of your experience with the angel in disguise reminds us all of the true meaning and miracles of Christmas. I pray that you will continue to savor the joys of the season and that your trip to Florida will be all you hope for. God bless and keep you and yours safe and may the new year bring boundless joy.
    Hugs and blessings,

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