What Christmas is all about

Because of my limited capacity to retain anything beyond a few days, let alone several years, the following story may have a few details out of place, but the general idea of the story is still there.

In my younger days, I was editor of a weekly newspaper in another part of Sussex County. Around the middle of December, editors are always searching for stories to warm people’s hearts and capture the essence of Christmas spirit.

I found one at a local elementary school that was collecting coats and clothes for people in need. It was nice that little kids were collecting things for other kids at this special time of year.

Because I knew that a particular reporter in the office was considered a Grinch, I sent him on the assignment to get a story about the clothing drive.

What he came back with has stuck with me for these past 30 years as one of the most touching moments in my life.

When he came back, he couldn’t talk about what happened without getting tears in his eyes. He said he found an envelope inside of one of the coats that contained a few dollar bills and some change.

On the envelope was a note written by one of the children at the school explaining that this was her life’s savings but she was sure someone needed it more than she did.

That story attracted so much attention not only because of what that child did, but the way the reporter, George D. Graves, wrote the story. It was written from the heart by a man who, from the outside, appeared to be the antithesis of Christmas spirit.

But there is more to this heartwarming story. When he told me the little girl’s name I broke down as well. Not only was it someone I knew; it was my niece, Carreen. She is married now and has two teen-age sons.



3 Responses to “What Christmas is all about”

  1. kristin Says:

    What a sweet story!

  2. Maureen Says:


    This is a very special story and even more special because of how it touched you, and I’m sure you were very proud of your niece.

    It was really neat how it touched the reporter George, as well.

    Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. Kerry Says:

    Beautiful – nice warm fuzzy for the season

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