A little girl mocks her needy classmate for failing to bring a gift for the Xmas celebration until her teacher shows her the letter he accidentally left on his desk.
Every little soul in the classroom was excited as they entered with big, beautiful gifts in their hands. SECRET SANTA. The day had finally arrived.
None of the kids could wait to find out what their Santas had planned to get them. But while the entire classroom was filled with a bit of joy, a little shyness, and a LOT of greed in the hope of getting the best gift, Bobby sat in a corner, clutching an envelope in his hands, his eyes filled with tears, feeling bad for himself…
“So kids,” said their teacher, Mrs. Torres. “Are we all ready?”
“Yes, Mrs. Torres!”
A loud unison of squeaky voices filled the class, and Mrs. Torres smiled.
“OK, OK! So let’s get this started. Let’s see… who would want to go first?”
A child’s heart is tender, and love conquers it.
“Me! Me!” All the kids chirped in excitement, but Mrs. Torres’ gaze fell on Bobby, who was sitting quietly amid all the chaos.
“Well,” she said after a pause. “I think Bobby can go first, and then we’ll follow… Bobby, are you ready, sweetheart?”
The entire class turned to look at Bobby, but he didn’t even raise his head.
“Are you OK, child?” Mrs. Torres asked him gently as she approached his desk. “You got one of your classmates’ names for the game, didn’t you?”
Bobby slowly nodded and said, “Sally. I got her name. But I—I don’t have a gift for her… just a letter…”
“Oh, that’s OK! I’m sure Sally would understand!” said Mrs. Torres encouragingly. “How about you give it to her?”
So Bobby did that. He got up from his desk, walked up to Sally’s, and extended the letter to her.
“I’m sorry, Sally,” he said. “I—I don’t have a gift for you, but I did write you a letter.”
“You wrote, what?” she said rudely. “You couldn’t even get me a gift? It’s Secret Santa, Bobby!”
“I’m sorry…” he said sadly. “I just… I couldn’t buy you one.”
“I HATE YOU!” cried Sally. “I got your name! My daddy bought you a nice gift, but you didn’t get anything for me?”
“I got you a letter,” said Bobby. “I made it myself! I drew Santa and reindeer to make it look nice because you love reindeer.”
“Eww!” cried Sally, disgusted. “That’s awful! And it’s so poor! I don’t want it, and I’m not giving you the gift! Look, everyone, Bobby is so poor he couldn’t even buy a gift for me!”
At that point, Mrs. Torres intervened. “Sally, honey, that’s rude!” she said. “It’s OK if you don’t want to accept Bobby’s letter, but you shouldn’t be mean to him. Say sorry to him right now!”
“NO!” cried Sally. “I won’t! He ruined my day! It’s not my problem if he is poor! He can go out and beg on the streets!”
Bobby returned to his seat in tears, and the whole class was awkwardly silent. Mrs. Torres told Sally she’d like to meet her parents the next day and asked the other kids to continue the game.
At the end of the day, when everyone left the class, Mrs. Torres chanced upon the letter. It was lying on Bobby’s desk.
“Dear Santa… My wish,” it read on top.
The curious teacher picked up the letter and sighed. “Sally was very rude to him today. He must have felt terrible,” she thought.
And soon, Mrs. Torres was reading the letter. By the time she finished, she couldn’t keep her tears at bay. She dashed out of class to see if Bobby was still there, but she couldn’t find him. She saw Sally, however, and decided to make her read the letter.
“Sally!” she cried. “Would you mind meeting me for a moment, honey?”
The little girl turned around and frowned. “Look, Mrs. Torres, if this is about Bobby, I don’t want to talk!”
“Sally,” said Mrs. Torres, approaching her. “You should read what Bobby wrote for you. I think you’ll change your mind, honey.”
Sally didn’t want to do that, but Mrs. Torres somehow convinced her. When the little girl did read the letter, she started crying.
The letter said:
“I am sorry, Sally. I am the worst Santa ever! You are a nice girl, and you are my classmate, and I feel very bad that I cannot get you a gift. Sally, my mommy is very, very sick. She has a bad heart, and she cannot walk. She has Grampa’s old wheelchair, and she uses that to walk.
I had saved money for your gift in my piggy bank, but I could not spend it. I need to give that money to Mommy! She will be fine and happy then. When she is OK, I will ask her to get you a reindeer toy. You love reindeer. I know. I drew one for you at the back.
I wish you and your mommy always stay happy. I hope you never see your mommy sad. I hope she loves you. That’s my wish to Santa for you! I hope the real Santa who loves all children makes all your dreams come true.
“His mommy is sick, Mrs. Torres?” asked Sally sadly as she finished reading. “I miss my mommy! She went to the angel when I was a baby!”
“She is, honey,” said Mrs. Torres. “She is!”
“We need to help Bobby, Mrs. Torres,” said Sally. “I was such a bad girl… I was so bad, Mrs. Torres…” and Sally started crying.
Mrs. Torres hugged her. “Oh no, you’re not!” she exclaimed, stroking Sally’s soft hair. “You have a beautiful heart, honey. You understand your friend’s situation and want to help him. Here’s an idea: How about you apologize to him when he comes to school tomorrow? He’ll appreciate it.”
“I will, Mrs. Torres,” sobbed Sally. “I want to be a good girl!”
And Sally did that. The next day, when Bobby came to class, she went to his desk and said, “I found your letter after you left the class, and I am sorry, Bobby. I don’t have a mommy, and I miss her so much, and I just felt so bad…”
Bobby gave her a smile, a big one. “It’s OK! Did you like the reindeer?” he asked.
She laughed. “It was ugly!” she giggled. “But I loved it! Thank you!”
So Bobby and Sally became friends, but that’s not where it all ended.
Later that day, Sally and her dad visited Bobby’s house with a bag full of gifts and an envelope.
“Sally and I would be grateful if you could accept it from us,” Sally’s father, Michael, said to Bobby’s parents, Linda and Derek. “Sally informed me that Bobby’s mother requires heart surgery, and we’d like to assist.”
Linda was taken aback. “We can’t accept all this… oh no, that would be wrong. You don’t have to do this, sir.”
“My wife is right,” said Derek. “We appreciate your concern, but we can’t take this. It would be wrong.”
“Please,” Michael insisted. “I know the pain of seeing a loved one suffer… my wife passed away shortly after Sally was born. Please, do this for our sake. We’d really appreciate it. Also, it’s Christmas time, and let’s consider this as something Santa would want us to do?”
Michael talked Bobby’s parents into accepting the gifts and the envelope, which contained money for Linda’s surgery, and once Linda recovered, their lives changed.
Sally no longer felt like she didn’t have a mother. She had found a best friend in Bobby and a loving mother in “Linda mommy.”
What can we learn from the story?
A child’s heart is tender, and love conquers it. Sally felt bad about herself after discovering the real reason Bobby couldn’t get her a Secret Santa gift. She missed her mother and her love. She realized Bobby felt bad seeing his mother in trouble, so she apologized and decided to help him.
You shouldn’t judge people until you know their side of the story. Sally felt terrible for being mean to Bobby without knowing why he couldn’t get her a gift, and she apologized.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.