In passing conversation, I asked what her favorite Christmas in the past hundred years has been. Without hesitation, she closed her eyes and smiled.
"When I was a little girl," she began, "I was worried that Santa wouldn't come to my house. Times were hard and I didn't think he could make it."
Her slight smile grew as I watched her go back in time.
She continued, "I went through the house and found an old shoebox. Later that night on Christmas Eve, I secretly hid it under the tree in hopes that he would find it and put a gift inside."
Opening her eyes, she took my hand, "Do you know what I found when I woke up on Christmas morning?"
I held my breath and waited.
"That morning, I ran straight to the tree. Looking underneath, there was the shoebox. When I peeked inside, there was a single piece of fruit, a few pieces of candy," she had the widest grin, "and a brand new baby doll. It was such a beautiful doll wearing a light pink dress, all my own. I'd never had a better Christmas."
Fighting the tears, the light in her eyes and pure joy was still undeniable. It was a simple gift, but it to her it meant the world.
Let us remember the spirit and true meaning of this Christmas season with the love that could fill a shoebox and one hundred and one years of happiness.
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