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Not a Silent Night
Photo: Damir Bayburin
We had done it with so much joy, yet with so much sacrifice. Penny by penny, we had put money aside, all to give our first-born daughter, Margarita, the Christmas gift she so longed for.

That Christmas Eve was special more than any other. In our hands, we each held our opened gifts. The only one left was Margarita. She began to open the package slowly, making the anticipation even greater. But, her joy quickly disappeared as she discovered that inside that beautiful package, the iPod she so longed for was missing!

My wife and I could not understand. All that we found inside that box was a bunch of tissue paper—nothing else!  Margarita ran to her room, digging for an answer in her pillow, crying inconsolably.

I walked in to my daughter’s room. How do I console her? The gift she had patiently waited an entire year for was not in the box. It was so unusual—unexplainable. But, it happened.  I sat by her side and I told her that God knew what had happened and only He could find a solution to such a strange incident.

That night we went to sleep trusting that it would all be resolved because God was in control of our lives and He knew what sacrifices we had made to get that iPod—that invisible iPod.

Two days later, I headed to the big shopping center in town. It was rather difficult to get the employees to understand my situation. Maybe they thought I was trying to take advantage of them and attempting to walk out of there with yet another iPod.

Store Manager

I asked to speak with the store manager—I waited the entire morning.  Finally, the large, heavy door opened. Out came a kind woman that asked me to step into her boss’ office. To my surprise, on the other side of the desk, sat the youngest manager I had ever seen in my life. He was almost a child!  A never-ending smile adorned his face. I told him the story about the gift. He listened intently. When I finished, there was a deathly silence. Then, with the same smile he had greeted me with earlier, he told me:

“You know, Mr. Gonzalez, Christmas Eve I dressed up as Santa Claus to pass out gifts to my little nephews. I’ll never forget their little faces full of happiness and joy! If what happened to you that night, would’ve happened to me, I would’ve died!  Mr. Gonzalez, on behalf of this store and all of its employees, I greatly apologize—to you, your daughter, and your entire family. I know we won’t be able to take away the sadness Margarita felt on Christmas Eve, but please tell her that she may come in anytime and pick whatever iPod she’d like. We’ll be more than glad to assist her!”

When I returned home. I ran to the backyard where my daughter was, and with the biggest smile I could come up with, I told her: “See, Margarita!  God is always with us—even in the weirdest of situations. He’s always willing to help us. All we have to do is ask Him!  Wanna go to the store?”

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Alejandro Gonzalez Catalan. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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