A little boy was forced to spend Christmas Eve with just his granny after his busy parents attended to yet another work emergency. Later that evening, they get a call from the police alerting them that their son was missing.
Christmas is a special holiday that children look forward to. It’s filled with joyful songs, festive meals, exciting gits, and quality time with family exchanging touching stories and doing holiday activities together.
For Sam, Christmas is his favorite time of the year because he gets to decorate the Christmas tree, receive gifts from Santa, and most importantly, because it’s a particular time wherein his parents would actually sit with him during dinner and pay attention to him.
With Christmas drawing nearer, little Sam picked out the perfect pine tree with his grandmother to place inside the house. After it was put in place, Sam started to decorate it happily with Christmas ornaments and lights. “Dad!” he called out from across the room. “Check out the tree!”
His dad, Peter, was too busy working on his laptop to even glance at Sam. “Dad!” he called out again. “Look at the tree! It’s almost done!”
When Peter still didn’t look the second time around, Sam’s grandmother decided to call her son’s attention. “Peter, honey. Sam’s trying to show you something,” she said gently.
Peter finally looked up, but not to look at the tree. He breathed a sigh of frustration and stood up. “I’m trying to work and you two are bugging me about a darn tree. How will I ever finish what I’m doing?” he said, storming out of the living room.
Sam’s eyes began to fill with tears. He had been looking forward to decorating the tree because it finally meant that Christmas was drawing closer, and that meant being able to spend time with his parents.
“It’s okay, sweetheart,” grandma Nelly consoled him. “The tree is beautiful. When your parents finish their work, they’ll appreciate the great job you did with the tree!”
Sam nodded and smiled at his grandmother softly. However, the old woman could see the hurt and sadness in her grandson’s eyes and couldn’t do anything about it.
During Christmas Eve, Sam helped Grandma Nelly prepare their dinner for the night. They baked a whole chicken, made some pasta, and an apple pie for them to enjoy.
Sam was very happy to see his mom and dad sitting with him and Grandma Nelly at the table. He couldn’t wait to open gifts with them after dinner, before finally watching a movie together, all snuggled up beside one another on the couch.
“I’m so happy you’re all here,” Sam told them before they began to eat. “Christmas is my favorite time of the year because we get to spend time with one another without worrying about anything else,” he smiled.
The adults around the table smiled at Sam and nodded their heads. They started to serve dinner to one another until Sam’s dad suddenly got a call. “It’s our client,” he said worriedly, glancing at his wife Annie.
Peter and Annie had just closed a large deal, with a businessman availing of their services as a building contractor. “I’m sure it could wait until after Christmas?” Grandma Nelly hinted, seeing that Sam suddenly had a worried look on his face, too.
“Of course not. If I ignore our client he might revoke his offer,” Peter said, standing up from the table to take the call.
After a few minutes, Peter returned to the table to call Annie. “We gotta go,” he said. “He wants us to revise a part of the plan before the holidays end so that we can start on the project before the new year.”
“We found [Sam] alone at the Christmas Market, sitting on one of the benches. At first, we thought his parents had asked him to wait, but even after an hour, he was still alone…”
Annie nodded, patting her mouth with a napkin and downing her glass of water before standing up. “Sorry, mom, sorry, Sam,” she apologized. “We’ll try to get back as soon as we can, but don’t wait up for us,” she said, giving Sam a kiss on the forehead.
“But mom,” Sam protested. “It’s Christmas! You’re supposed to be spending it with family. Can’t your client wait another day?” he asked, his eyes filling with tears.
“Didn’t you hear me, Sam? We need to fix this as soon as possible. Grandma will be here to ring in Christmas with you. We also left your gifts under the tree. I’m sure you’ll love it!” Peter tried to console his son.
“I don’t care about the gifts. I want YOU to be here! You’re barely home the entire year. Christmas is the only time we get to spend time together,” he said, crying.
“Don’t make this any harder, Sam,” his mom warned him. “We work hard so we have food on our table every Christmas, and gifts under the tree! Don’t be ungrateful.”
Before Sam and Grandma Nelly could say anything else, Peter and Annie left the house. The old lady tried her best to cheer Sam up, but it was difficult for him to cheer up knowing he wasn’t going to be spending Christmas Eve with his parents for the very first time.
Hours later, while Peter and Annie were revising their plan with their client, they suddenly get a call from an unknown number. “Hello?” Peter answered, thinking it might have been another client of theirs.
“Hello, sir. This is Officer Barkley. We’re calling because of your son, Sam,” he said. Peter’s heart dropped upon hearing this, suddenly feeling guilty that they had left Sam during Christmas.
“What’s wrong? What happened to him?” Peter asked hurriedly, which worried Annie, who stopped what she was doing to try and listen.
“We found him alone at the Christmas Market, sitting on one of the benches. At first, we thought his parents had asked him to wait, but even after an hour, he was still alone. He’s with us at the precinct. Please, come pick him up,” the officer said before putting down the phone.
Peter and Annie tried getting a hold of Grandma Nelly, but she didn’t pick up any of the calls. They apologized to their client and said they needed to head home because of their son.
When Peter and Annie arrived at the station, they were crying. They swiftly walked through to the back, where they searched for Sam. They saw the young boy sitting beside one of the officers, wrapped in a blanket.
“Sam,” Annie said, rushing to embrace her son. “I am so sorry,” she cried. “I couldn’t imagine what I would do if anything happened to you. Thank God you’re okay. I’m so sorry, son.”
“It’s okay, mom,” Sam replied softly. “I wanted to feel the spirit of Christmas and celebrate the holiday, even if it meant having to spend it alone. I was looking forward to the holiday because it’s the only time we ever have uninterrupted moments as a family. When you said you were going to go work, I was really sad, and Grandma Nelly fell asleep right after midnight,” he admitted.
Peter and Annie looked at each other with so much guilt in their eyes. They had been neglecting their own son for the sake of their work, and they knew that needed to stop.
Peter checked his phone and saw five missed calls from his client. He decided to politely tell him that they would get the requests done after the Christmas holiday, as now they wanted to focus solely on their son.
Peter and Annie turned off their phones and only opened them again on the 26th. They spent the Christmas holiday with their son and Grandma Nelly, doing all the holiday activities that Sam wanted to do.
What can we learn from this story?
Cherish your kids’ childhood before it’s too late. Peter and Annie were so busy with work that they often neglected their son, Sam. It’s important for you not to skip out on your children’s childhoods, as they grow up quickly and you might realize this too late.
There’s nothing more important than family. No matter how rich one can be, life is not fulfilling without loved ones to spend your days with. Money can’t buy happiness, but priceless moments with family will definitely leave you feeling happy, content, and fulfilled.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.