As a follow up to Item Number 5 in my blog post: “10 Ways to Increase Your Savings”, below is the warm and fuzzy unexpected surprise that I got after our home was robbed.
My home was robbed on my birthday in 1979. In fact, I came home from work that day for lunch and interrupted the robbery that was in process. My television, which normally lived in my living room, was sitting on my kitchen table right next to my back door. I called the police and all of that; however, this is not about the robbery. It is about what happened as a result of a jar of change that I kept on my bedroom dresser that was also taken by the robbers.
I would toss my change into that jar at the end of each week. That money was what I was going to use to get Bryan’s Christmas gift that year. My birthday is on December 5th, so I would not have time to replace the $45 that was in that jar by Christmas.
I do need to give one detail about the robbery that will “set the stage” for this: Bryan was 5½ years old and he was with me when the police took the robbery report of what items were stolen (and there were lots of items that had been stolen!). When I mentioned the jar of change to the police, I broke down and cried and Bryan hugged me and tried very hard to comfort me.
The next week we went to a shopping mall and, of course, he wanted to sit on Santa’s lap. I had no clue how on earth I would ever be able to get anything at all for him for Christmas; however, I moved up as close as I could so that I could hear what he said as he sat on Santa’s lap.
Santa asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he actually told Santa that he did not want anything for himself. He asked Santa to bring a gift to his mommy because our home had just been robbed and every time his mommy talked about that jar, she broke down and cried. He did not understand why his mommy cried but he did know that the jar was important.
I tried as hard as I could NOT to cry as I stood there; however, when everyone around me said “awwwwww”, I could not help it and I broke down and cried. Santa saw me and told Bryan that he understood that the jar was very important and he would see what he could do. That made Bryan feel better. Santa then told Bryan that he would also give him a gift and he asked Bryan what he wanted.
Bryan told Santa that he wanted “Hungry Hippos”. At the time, the cost of Hungry Hippos was about $12. If you calculate how much $12 was in 1979 compared to today, that would be $39 and for a board game that was extremely expensive and it may as well have been one million dollars because there was no way I could possibly come up with $39 in just three weeks.
I did learn that year to believe in Christmas miracles because all of a sudden, I got a reimbursement check in the mail from an insurance company that had mistakenly overcharged me and I received a bonus at work: the first year they ever paid their employees a bonus! Some people will say that the two events were simply coincidence. I prefer to believe that I experienced a Christmas miracle because I did get the $39 and I was able to buy Hungry Hippos for Christmas!
Guess what I got from Bryan for my Christmas gift? I got a jar! It was an empty Jif peanut butter jar that had been in my cupboard and inside the jar were a whole bunch of little scrolls that were tied with red and green ribbons. I opened one scroll and it said: “Sing you a song” (the scroll on the far right). Another scroll that he wrote said “give you a back rub” (the open scroll in the idle), and I opened one more scroll and that one said: “Get a glass of water or anything else” (the opened scroll on the left). I could not open any more scrolls because I could not read them for all the tears.
I still have that jar and many of the unopened scrolls.