Two years ago at Christmas, “Santa” got my oldest son a brand new bike. He was thrilled. He had been asking for a new “big boy” bike for about 4 months. Ryan and I bought him some bike accessories- a helmet, lock chain, some spoke things, a mirror, a bell, you know- those kind of things. Even though it was cold, he still wanted to ride it. He rode it every day for about a week. He learned to give his brothers a pump, he loved to ring his little bell, he showed it off to our family. He even hooked it up to our little wagon and gave his brothers a lift.
About 2 weeks after Christmas he had it parked on the porch like normal, not locked, and we didn’t think much of it.
That day, we ran some errands and when we got home that afternoon his brand new Christmas bike was gone. He was heartbroken.
He kept asking “Why would someone take my bike?” “Why is someone that mean?”
It was a discussion I didn’t want to have with my little guy, but he had gotten to experience first-hand that people can be mean. Not just “haha you have a booger” type mean, but in a “I’m going to steal a 5 year olds new Christmas gift” mean.
We lived in a small town of just 2500 or so, and so I decided I would give Facebook a try and just post a couple of pictures of his bike to see if anyone had seen the bike around town.
Two days later, we pulled up to our house again and guess what my son discovered on our front porch
A. Brand. New. Bike.
Identical to his stolen bike.
The receipt was there, the bike still had some packaging on it, and there was also an amazing letter from “Santa.”
He was shocked. He was excited. He was thankful. He felt joy. He felt loved.
We then got to have a discussion with our little boy that I am so thankful for. He experienced first-hand true Christmas giving. He experienced first-hand that people can be kind. That people can be generous, caring, and loving. Anonymously.
You gave without receiving. You gave without acknowledgement. You gave without praise. You gave without a thank you. You gave.
You might have known that we couldn’t have afforded to buy another bike right then. You might not have known. You might be a wealthy person and that bike cost might have just been pocket change to you. You might be a poor person who gave even when it hurt. You may be one of our close friends. You may be someone we don’t really know that well. I don’t know. I don’t know who you are, but thank you.
I still don’t know who you are. That may be what I love most- knowing that taking credit wasn’t what was important to you. Often I wondered who you were. I tried to pay attention to our friend’s handwriting. I checked over the receipt to see if there was a name. But I absolutely love not knowing. It means so much. You have encouraged me, us, our family. At a time when Ryan and I were a little discouraged about the lack of good in some people, you restored our faith in people. You restored our faith in good. You put the desire in us to give. To give out of love. To give without receiving.
And I want to encourage anyone who reads this story- go out and be that person to another family. Keep your eyes open and you probably won’t have to look far to find a way to be a blessing to someone else. Do it because of the goodness inside of you. Not so that you can take credit or get a thank you.
I’ve recently discovered that “good” is more of a verb than an adjective. Don’t focus so much on “being” good. Focus on “doing” good. And you will be a blessing to many.
So to the person who gave my son the bike-
You gave him so much more than a bike. You gave him a true gift of Christmas. You “did” good. And I am so thankful.
PS- we didn’t let Santa take credit. We told our son that his gift came from a Christ-like person. We told him that his gift came from you.