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Working for the Man Upstairs

A secret Santa is reminded whom he's serving when he brightens a child's Christmas.

A girl's bike with a large red bow
Credit: Photographer: Ugurhan BETIN
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I’d always felt a thrill when I got my assignment for our church’s adopt-a-family Christmas program. This year even the parents of my family would be surprised: They had been nominated anonymously, after the father had lost his job.

“The number you’ve dialed has been disconnected,” the recording said when I tried to call the Petersons. I drove across town to their address. No one answered the door. I scrawled a note with my phone number and stuck it in the screen door.

That evening, Mr. Peterson called. “Thanks, but we’re doing fine.”

My heart sank. The next day I drove out to the Petersons’ again. This time Mrs. Peterson answered. She looked tired and sad, but at least she was willing to talk to me about what kinds of things her daughters liked. I made a list.

A few days before Christmas I went to drop off the gifts. One of the girls opened the front door and her face lit up.

“Daddy! It’s the God lady!”

“I have bikes in my car,” I whispered to Mr. Peterson. He walked outside to give me a hand.

“The God lady?” I asked.

“When I got laid off I said we’d have to trust God for help. Guess she figured that God sent you.”

Playing Santa isn’t always an easy job, but it helps to remember who hired me.


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