During the 2005 Christmas season, I had a booth reserved at Caesar Creek Flea Market in Wilmington, Ohio, to sell gift items and homemade sugar cream pies. Several thousand people would walk through this “mega market” each weekend. Wanting to spend time with my adult daughter, Heather, she accepted my invitation to help.
The market attracted many group outings and each weekend we would witness a parade of people from adult handicap homes, special needs children’s homes and orphanages, along with a variety of less fortunate people.
Our hearts were touched, so we purchased a large supply of springoperated mini cars to give away to the children and small novelty gifts for the adults. Our original intent to earn a little extra cash turned into a campaign to distribute a little joy to those in need.
The last weekend before Christmas, a little boy who had been a “repeat customer” for free cars approached us with a huge smile on his face. He told us he had been given $5 to go Christmas shopping and he used it to buy us a small wooden carved box as a token of appreciation for giving him gifts.
Overwhelmed that he spent his only $5 on us, we humbly accepted the box as tears welled in our eyes. Responding with several hugs, we thanked him for making us feel so very special. When this venture ended, we realized we barely covered our season’s expenses, but our reward of a lifetime’s worth of memories was priceless.
I’m still reminded today, as I look at the little wooden box displayed in my kitchen, that keeping Christ in Christmas and obeying his teachings to share his love with others is a fulfillment that fosters true happiness.
Jeanie Ploeger – Findlay
and Heather (Bowman) Hypes – Denton, Texas