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The Story Of The Blanket
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TITLE (EDIT)
The Story Of The Blanket
DESCRIPTION
A short story.
[668 words]
AUTHOR
Patti Merrill
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[March 2004]
The Story Of The Blanket
Patti Merrill

It was three days before Christmas. The sky was blue and the day was filled with excitement. Roses were still blooming all over town. “Roses in December,” I mused. “Where else but in beautiful Phoenix?” I pulled a book I’d been meaning to read off of the bookshelf and sat down in my comfy chair by the window, so I could watch the children at the park play as I read. This was my moment to relax before it was time to prepare the evening meal. The aroma of freshly baked cookies still lingered in the air. I was planning to attend a party for the women’s group at my church, and was counted on to bring some homemade holiday cookies.

A sudden knock at the door interrupted my thoughts and the quietness of the afternoon. “Who could that be?” I pondered, as I got up to answer the door. “Hi Patti,” my neighbor Gina said with a grin. “Can you give me and my dad a ride to the store?” Gina’s aging father was standing behind her, looking at me with tired eyes. I didn’t answer right away. I couldn’t help thinking of all the things that needed to be done before the party. “All right,” I finally answered. “Just give me five minutes.”

The store they wanted to go to was ten minutes away. The traffic was terrible, but that was only to be expected during the holidays. The parking lot at the local store was swarming with people frantically searching for a parking place. I managed to find one of the last vacant spots fairly close to the entrance. “We’ll be right back,” Gina promised. “No problem,” I assured them, but I hoped they would be quick, so I could get back to fixing dinner. I mentally went through what was in the cupboards and the refrigerator, thinking of the endless meal possibilities. The sky was turning purple and orange as the sun began to set. Shadows grew long, and I felt a tug at my heart as I thanked the Lord for this amazing world that He has given to us.

“Blankets! Handmade blankets for sale!” a strong voice called out. I looked out my car window and saw a scruffy man standing next to a shopping cart overflowing with pillows and blankets, as well as a few stuffed animals. The man walked over to my car and asked, “Lady, you want to buy a blanket?” “No,” I answered. “I don’t need a blanket.” “My wife just come from Mexico with the children,” he continued. “I sell blankets to make Christmas for my family.” I looked away from him. I didn’t want to buy a blanket. “Only $25,” he said to me eagerly. I only had $20 in my purse and a little change. “Sorry,” I replied. “I only have $20.” “$20 is fine,” he almost shouted. “Which color?” I smiled politely and gave a sigh. “The blue one, I guess.” He gave me a lovely blue blanket in exchange for a crisp $20 bill I half-heartedly released into his hand. “Thank you. God bless you!” he said with gratitude. “You have helped to give me and my family Christmas.” Just then my friends came out of the store carrying their bags. I watched the man walk away, pushing his shopping cart with a bit of joy in his step. I put the blanket in the back seat, and then took my neighbors home. They wished me a Merry Christmas, and Gina gave me an orange from her shopping bag in return for the ride.

As I look back on that day, I realize that God gave me a gift that went beyond the simple blue blanket or the gift of the orange from my friend. I now understand that helping others is what Christmas is all about. I own a beautiful blue blanket the color of the Jordan River, and the memory of many bright smiles that said, “You have made a difference.”

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Patti Merrill
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
March 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1679
 

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