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The Christmas Spirit - My Mother's Story


Although my mother would not say she believed in ghosts, she would not deny their existence either, as she put it, "Just in case one is listening and decides to give proof." How ever she was not without her own experiences as the following account shows.

It was Christmas Eve, 1946 in the projects of Chicago. The twins were about 8 years old, and my oldest brother was only 2. My mother was saddened that there would be no Santa for them that year. Although the 'Great Depression' has ended, America is still struggling. My dad brought home $15 a week, almost $9 would be set aside to pay the rent on their small apartment. That didn't leave much left to live on for a family of five, and every penny was ear marked just for survival.

She had been waiting on my father to return from work, so that she could go to the grocery store to pick up a few much needed items. Mrs.Bowman, a neighbor lady, knocked on the door with a message from my father, he would be home later then expected and she should go without him. (My parents didn't have a phone.) She even offered to sit the kids, as it was getting dark and my mother had to hurry to get there before the store closed. In those days stores closed early on Christmas Eve.

Winter can be bitter in Chicago, and the wind bit my mother's bare legs, and sliced through her old coat, as she walked the 4 blocks to the store. (My mom always wore dresses, no matter what.) She was nearly frozen as she approached the store's parking lot. She felt something wrap itself around her ankle. Looking down and pulling it off, she saw it was a $5 bill! Five dollars! A small fortune in those days. She looked about for its owner, someone who might have dropped it, even though she was sorely tempted to just cram it into her pocket. Then she saw the man, standing nearly hidden in the shadows. "'scuse me," she said approaching him, "but have you lost something?"

He took a step from the shadows. She was struck by the fact that although he didn't appear dressed for the cold, as he wore only a jacket, he didn't appear cold. He smiled at her, the most beautiful smile she has ever seen.

"Yes, ma'am. Five dollars, to be exact."

"Then this is yours," she extended the bill towards him.

"Keep it. Get the kids something nice." My mother's jaw fell open. The second half of what he said wouldn't hit her until later.

"Are you sure? It's an awful lot-" but the man had already turned walking off, cutting across a section of fresh snow. "Thank you! Merry Christmas!" She called after him as she assumed he disappeared into the darker shadows, but (and she is adamant about this) he left no prints in the snow where he walked. She went and took a good look when she finished shopping. But her Christmas Miracle didn't end there.

Inside on a long table, was an assortment of plastic toys. She quickly chose two plastic 'dress me' dolls, and a red fire truck. The owner of the store was working the counter, and he placed some candy into her bag telling her to hush when she objected. He knew our family, and wanted to be 'allowed to spoil those babies' just a little. My mother says that never had a full bag of groceries felt so light to carry on the walk home.

Back home, Mrs. Bowman left and returned with some fabric scraps she thought were big enough to create outfits for the dolls with. Soon, they had the kids fed and put down, and they busied themselves with sewing tiny dresses until my father came home; lugging behind him a small tree! The reason he was late, was he had the chance to work for a friend at a Christmas tree lot, and this one was left over. The friend let him have it and paid him a whopping 50 cents to boot!

"You can say 'coincidence' and folks being kind all you want," my mother would say when telling this story, "but you tell me, what kind of man could possibly know that I had kids, and leave no prints in the snow... Except for a Christmas Spirit?"

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, valkricry, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

KikiGirl (8 stories) (207 posts)
11 months ago (2017-03-26)
valkricry, this was a fascinating account of the Christmas Spirit, if I am saying it the right way? I feel a bit embarrassed right now because I have to admit that I have been reading over your 'whopping' 32 stories on YGS over the period of the last 3 weeks or so. I think, I mainly read your experiences because you have a bundle! And, because you are a moderator. Your many accounts sparked my curiosity, (I hope nothing bad became of the cat!).

I wanted to tell you that no more then 15 minutes ago, I read your most recent submission/account "The Last Duet" and as fate will have it or how things turn out, the very last story/experience that I ended up reading is this one - "The Christmas Spirit - My Mother's Story". (Sorry, I wrote the whole title feeling over zealous!) It is just so... Precious? Mysterious? Fascinating... What is the right word? That you happened to publish the story of your songs, as I finished reading all of your accounts, finishing with The Christmas Spirit - My Mother's Story.

I am not sure if this is coincidence? Or a message? Evidence? But, I surely feel blessed, in some way.
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
2 years ago (2015-10-03)
Oh my! I had no idea that there had been more comments made on this story! I'm sorry I hadn't seen them sooner. Thank you all for reading and comenting. 😊
Sarah (1 stories) (51 posts)
2 years ago (2015-10-02)

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story 😁

I got goosebumps from it lol

LemonDrop_Pop (guest)
3 years ago (2015-07-10)
What an amazing story. Just amazing. Never doubt the power of God. God bless 😁
Agnet201195 (1 stories) (26 posts)
3 years ago (2015-03-11)
Wow! So wonderful... It warms the heart! Thank you for sharing such an awesome story Val. 😊 I would like to read more if you have these types of stories to narrate... Thank you very much!
KimmieWebb (8 stories) (32 posts)
3 years ago (2015-03-11)

I love this story. What a refreshing story to read after reading some of these stories. Warms my heart.
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-12-31)
khili! 😁 I was just thinking about you, and if all is well. Hope the exam went well? Merry Christmas, and a joyous New Year to you too!
Khili180 (3 stories) (78 posts)
3 years ago (2014-12-30)
Hiieeee val:) sorry was busy studying and preparing for an exam so didn't read anything on YGS this past 2 months! Came online today and opened to see if you'd written anything new first! And as usual both your stories are lovely! Heart warming and pure smile inducers! So thankful to your mother and you for this story! I know I'm late but merry Christmas and happy (almost) new year:)) )
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-12-26)
Thank you for reading and commenting. My Christmas was good, hope yours was too.
bluemer04 (1 stories) (58 posts)
3 years ago (2014-12-26)
this is heart warming. Love your story.:) hope you had a happy christmas!
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-12-23)
Merry Christmas to you too, Dip! I do believe of all the family encounters I've heard over the years, this one remains my favorite.
Dip1904 (115 posts)
3 years ago (2014-12-23)
and to think, I chanced upon reading this on a christmas eve:) ... Its really heartwarming and a positive vibe that although the world works with the inexplicable, some of them are nothing short of a heavenly approach I might say.:) ... Wish you a merry christmas, madam:)
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-12-09)
Thank you for reading and commenting. I believe that people unknowingly meet spirits quite often.
AngeLeeS (8 stories) (20 posts)
3 years ago (2014-12-08)
Christmas spirit is for real and this story is the proof of it! Merry Christmas! 😁
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-12-01)
I'm glad you enjoyed this, Fergie. 😁 I think, too often we focus on the negative or scary aspects of the paranormal, and 'forget' such good can come of them.
Fergie (38 stories) (1133 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-30)
Oh Val! I'm late for the party, as usual. 😢
What an absolutely captivating tale you weave. That was truly a miracle for your Mom and worth the retelling. Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience. 😁
May the joy of Christmas remain with you for the next year - Merry Christmas! ❤
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-30)
elnora, you are very welcomed. I'm very happy, I made you smile. 😊
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-30)
I had a comment all written out in my head, read the ba hum bug comment, cracked up and lost what I was going to say.

Thanks for the smile:)
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-29)
Merry Christmas to you too, lady-glow! * Ahem* " your post is below the required the required character limit". Well ba-humbug!
lady-glow (9 stories) (1740 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-29)
Val: thank you for sharing such a lovely story.
Merry Christmas.
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-29)
Thank you for reading and commenting, Spockie. Yes, I do believe in the magic, not just of Christmas but of giving too. Merry Christmas!
Spockie (7 stories) (157 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-28)
That was a beautiful and inspirational story. The magic of Christmas is real!
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-27)
Yes, it is Thanksgiving here as well. I'm glad this story helped you to be in the Christmas Spirit. Hopefully, you will be able to carry it in you through out the year. 😊
Triskaideka (2 stories) (369 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-27)
I love this story so much. Tears in my eyes and smile on my face. It's currently Thanksgiving but this story has put me into the Christmas spirit (and that's really hard to do, with me). Wow. ❤
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-27)
Well, I am honored that you made my entry your first comment! You say this story was a blessing for you, I won't ask why - to do so would be to pry, but if the re-telling of my mother's experience lifted you in some way, then I believe that Christmas Spirit, she met that bitter cold night, is still hard at work.
Thank you! Merry Christmas and hugs to your two 'bratz'! 😊
Mama22bratz (3 stories) (4 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-26)
Although I have been reading stories on this site for a long time this is my first time to comment. I just had to tell you what a blessing your story was!
Merry Christmas and God Bless!
Griff84 (5 stories) (288 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-26)
It does make you wonder what could have / would have happened if she had just pocketed it and walked away, perhaps she would have come to have a look later and it be gone.

Like you say, perhaps it was a test as well as a gift.
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-26)
Thank you, Griff. 😊 My mom felt that initially the spirit had only wanted to see her reaction to having found the money. After all, part of the fun of giving a gift is watching the reaction to it. Maybe he didn't realize that she could see him. But when asked if he had lost something, he decided to test her honesty a bit. I like to think she earned a lot of brownie points. 😆
Griff84 (5 stories) (288 posts)
3 years ago (2014-11-26)
Loved reading this Val, thanks to you and your mum for sharing it 😊
valkricry (40 stories) (2795 posts) mod
3 years ago (2014-11-25)
Awww, guys - you surely can make a girl blush. 😳
I like to think that my mom knows I shared her story with you, and that she is pleased that it has brought cheer.

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