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ALL I WANT


I really like the Christmas season.

It is the one time of the year when I tend to put aside all the important things that are really not so important.

Yesterday, Judy asked me what I wanted for Christmas more than anything else. I thought for a minute or two, but was really unable to answer her question.

There was this elderly gentleman I met in the Colonial Glynn Place Mall last year. He and I sat on a wooden bench outside the KB Toys Store watching the kids as they ran wildly in and out of the store.

"Never got to do that kind of a thing when I was a kid. Never even got to pick out one single toy that I ever wanted," he said.

"How come?" I asked.

"Family was just too poor. Never really even had a Christmas. Of course, that was even way before your time," he said with a laugh.

"How come you never celebrated Christmas?" I asked.

"Oh, we had a small pine tree every year, but that was about it. Made our own decorations and all that, but we never had a party or anything," said the old man.

"What are you doing this year?" I asked.

"Nothing special. Just me and my dog left now," he replied.

"You're welcome to come as our guest to the Christmas party at Sonny's Bar BQ tomorrow night," I said.

"That's awfully nice of you fellow, but I really don't want to impose on anyone. The fact that you offered is more than enough," he responded.

I told him goodbye, and I reached out and I shook his shaking, old hand. Then I headed off to K-Mart where I picked up some last minute items.

The next day, it was a little bit cold and raining. Judy and I took our umbrellas, our gifts and our granddaughter, Chelsey and at about 9:30 p.m., we headed off to the Christmas party. There were games, gifts, fun and food for all. Kathy always puts on quite a party for her employees and their families.

I sat there watching the children as they ran and laughed, and clapped their little hands acting as if they had not a worry in the world.

"That's the way it is supposed to be for kids," I thought.

As I was looking around the room, I saw the same old man I met at the mall looking in the rain soaked window. I waived my hand at him and quickly stood up. Just as I headed toward the front door, he disappeared from view. I walked around the waitress station as quickly as I could and then I ran outside in the rain, but he was nowhere to be found.

What do I want more than anything else this Christmas?

I want that 90-year-old gentleman to come to the Christmas party this year and feel that he is welcomed. I want to sit down and eat dinner with him. I would also like to give him the ‘yo-yo’ that I saw him admiring at KB Toys - a gift I bought for him last year.


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