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Torrence, CA

Every year at our company’s Christmas Party we played a mystery gift game. Names were pulled from a hat and people could choose a wrapped gift.
Over the years I had won a couple of big teddy bears and gave them to my daughter for Christmas. After a couple of times, it stopped feeling so special. The next year, feeling ambivalent I put the box up in the closet and forgot about it.

The next year I won a big teddy bear again. I put it in the trunk and drove home. I stopped at a grocery store on the way home. On the way out I put a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket and chatted briefly with the bell ringer.

She was a volunteer. She’d been homeless and the Salvation Army was helping her get back on her feet. Her husband had lost his job and she didn’t have money for Christmas gifts for her two boys, 10 & 11. “That’s tough!” I thought as I walked back to my car.


I put the bag of groceries in the trunk next to the wrapped teddy bear. Then I felt the nudge. “Give her the bear.” I gave it to her for her boys. “A gift from Santa,”

As I drove home I thought, “Maybe I just stirred up trouble for her. I home the boys don’t fight over that one bear. I wish I could have given her two!”

I felt the nudge again. “You’ve got another on in the closet from last year.”

I grabbed the other bear out of the closet and sped back to the store. Now she had one for each of her boys so they wouldn’t fight. I felt like God’s secret agent, so blessed to be their secret Santa.