Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back
yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots. He didn't
like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin
sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they
did a poor job of keeping out the cold.
Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not come
up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift.
He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless,
even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have
any money to spend."
Ever since his father had passed away three years
ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't
because his mother didn't care, or try, there just
never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at
the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning
could only be stretched so far.
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What the family lacked in money and material things,
they more than made up for in love and family unity.
Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who
ran the household in their mother's absence.
All three of his sisters had already made beautiful
gifts for their mother. Somehow, it just wasn't
fair. It was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow
and started to walk down to the street where the
shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six
without a father, especially when he needed a man
to talk to.
Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each
decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful
and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark
and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when his
eyes suddenly caught the glimmer of the setting
sun's rays reflecting off something along the curb.
He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.
Never before has anyone felt as wealthy as Bobby
felt at that moment. As he held his new found treasure,
warmth spread throughout his entire body and he
walked into the first store he saw. His excitement
quickly turned cold when salesperson after salesperson
told him that he could not buy anything with only
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He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in
line. When the shop owner asked if he could help
him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could
buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift.
The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent
offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder
and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll
see what I can do for you."
As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers
and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers
and girls liked flowers.
The sound of the door closing as the last customer
left jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in
the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.
Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the
counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve
long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny
white flowers all tied together with a big silver
bow. Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them
up and placed them gently into a long white box.
"That will be ten cents young man."
The shop owner said reaching out his hand for the
dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man
his dime. Could this be true? No one else would
give him a thing for his dime!
Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added,
"I just happened to have some roses on sale
for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the
man placed the long box into his hands, he knew
it was true.
Walking out the door that the owner was holding
for Bobby, he heard the shopkeeper say, "Merry
As he returned inside, the shopkeeper's wife walked
"Who were you talking to back there and where
are the roses you were fixing?"
Staring out the window, and blinking the tears
from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing
happened to me this morning. While I was setting
up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a
voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best
roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time
whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them
Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came
into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his
mother with one small dime. When I looked at him,
I saw myself, many years ago. I too was a poor boy
with nothing to buy for my mother on Christmas.
A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on
the street and told me that he wanted to give me
ten dollars. When I saw that little boy tonight,
I knew who that voice was, and I put together a
dozen of my very best roses."
The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly,
and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air,
somehow they didn't feel cold at all.
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