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Unexpected Surprise from Spending Only Paper Money




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; however, this article is not about the robbery.  It is about what happened as a result of a jar of money that was also stolen by the robbers.

I only spent dollar bills (paper money) and would toss my change into that jar at the end of each week.  That money was what I was going to use to buy my son’s Christmas gift that year.  My birthday is on December 5th, so I would not have time to replace the $45 in change that was in the jar by Christmas ($45 would be the equivalent of $145 today).

Robbery Detail 

I do need to give one detail about the robbery that will “set the stage” for this:  My son was 5½ years old at the time.  He was with me when the police took the report of the many items that were stolen.  When I mentioned the jar of change to the police, I broke down and cried.  My son 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 afford 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.  Every time his mommy talked about that jar, she broke down and cried.  He did not understand why she cried, but he did know that the jar was important for some reason.

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.  Santa saw me and told my son that he would see what he could do, which made him feel better.  Santa also wanted to know what my son wanted.  My son’s response was that he wanted “Hungry Hippos”.  The cost of Hungry Hippos was about $12, which would be equivalent to $39 today.  That $12 may as well have been one million dollars because there was no way I could possibly come up with $39 in just three weeks.

Christmas Miracle

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 choose to believe that I experienced a Christmas miracle because I did get the $39 and I was able to buy Hungry Hippos for Christmas!

Unexpected Surprise

Jar with Christmas Scroll

Jar with Christmas Scrolls

Guess what I got from my son for my Christmas gift?  I got a jar!  It had been an empty Jif Peanut Butter jar that was in my cupboard.  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 middle).  One more scroll 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 due to all of my tears.


I still have that jar and many of the unopened scrolls.



Updated: October 24, 2017 — 6:59 pm

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