Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his
backyard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear
boots; he didn't like them and anyway, he didn't
own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few
holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping
out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard
for about an hour already. And, try as he
might, he could not come up with an idea for his
mother's Christmas gift.
He shook his head as he thought, "This is
useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't
have any money to spend."
Ever since his father had passed away three
years ago, the family of five had struggled.
It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try,
there just never seemed to be enough. She
worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage
that she was earning could only be stretched so
far. What the family lacked in money and
material things, they more than made up for in love
and family unity.
Bobby had two older and one younger sister who
ran the household in their mother's absence.
All three of his sisters had already made beautiful
gifts for their mother. Somehow it just
wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve
already and he had nothing. Wiping a tear
from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to
walk down to the street where the shops and stores
It wasn't easy being six without a father,
especially when he needed a man to talk to.
Bobby walked from shop to shop looking into each
decorated window. Everything seemed so
beautiful and so out of reach. It was
starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned
to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the
glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of
something along the curb.
He reached down and discovered a shiny
dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy
as Bobby felt at that moment. As he held his
new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his
entire body and he walked into the first store he
saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when
salesperson after salesperson told him that he
could not buy anything with only a dime.
He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in
line. When the shop owner asked if he could
help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he
could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas
The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent
offering. Then, he put his hand on Bobby's
shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and
I'll see what I can do for you." Bobby
waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even
though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and
girls liked flowers.
The sound of the door closing as the last
customer left jolted Bobby back to reality.
All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone
and afraid. Suddenly, the shop owner came out
and moved to the counter. There, before
Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long-stem, red roses, with
leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied
together with a big silver bow.
Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up
and placed them gently into a long white box.
"That will be ten cents young man," the shop owner
said, reaching out his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his
dime. Could this be true? No one else
would give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner
added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale
for ten cents a dozen. Would you like
them?" This time Bobby did not hesitate, and
when the man placed the long box into his hands, he
knew it was true.
Walking out the door that the owner was holding
for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry
As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife
walked out. "Who were you talking to back
there and where are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears
from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing
happened to me this morning. While I was
setting up things to open the shop, I thought I
heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my
best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure
at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but
I set them aside anyway. Then, just a few
minutes ago a little boy came into the shop and
wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one
small dime. When I looked at him, I saw
myself, many years ago. I too was a poor boy
with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas
gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew,
stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted
to give me ten dollars. When I saw that
little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and
I put together a dozen of my very best roses."
The shop owner and his wife hugged each other
tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter
cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.