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1 Jan

Virginia Finds Santa Claus

28 Dec


My friend was having the mother of all garage sales. In a financial crisis due to an impending divorce, she was selling whatever she could. Her garage had in it almost as much as her house.

A woman eyed the surfboard against the wall. She was looking for one for her 12-year-old daughter who loved surfing but had to borrow boards to enjoy the sport she loved. The board was everything a girl would want – covered with pink and lavender tropical flowers.

My friend said she’d have to ask her daughter, Virginia, who just moved to New York City if she wanted to sell. I knew she could get some decent cash for the board because my son had sold one of the same brand recently.

The next day the woman came back with her daughter in tow. She naturally fell in love with the flowered girly surfboard. It broke my friend’s heart to tell her Virginia didn’t want to sell it.

That was in September. A few days before Christmas the woman called my friend, again inquiring about the surfboard. She said that she hadn’t planned on a big Christmas for her daughter because she always went out of town to visit her father. Like many single mothers, she had limited income, so hadn’t bought a tree either.

Her daughter had just found out that her father was remarrying over Christmas to a woman with four kids. The girl wasn’t invited to the wedding or for Christmas. The mother wanted to do something special for her.

My friend said that Virginia was on a train on her way back from New York so she would ask her when she arrived on Christmas Eve. That’s the best she could do.

Virginia took a train to Jacksonville because it was the cheapest way home from New York. She had realized that working in a crêpe shop in New York wasn’t a long-term gig and maybe she should return to school for her last two years of college. She had also sent her mom $250 the week before to help  her pay the rent. My friend says she knows it was probably most of Virginia’s paycheck. A kind and generous thing for a 20-year-old living in the Big Apple.

It is what Virginia did next upon arriving home that will move you.

She took that girly flowered surfboard that she could have sold to the girl’s mother, wrapped it in all sorts of bows and ribbons, and took it to Atlantic Beach and quietly left it at the girl’s front door at 1 a.m.

At 9:00 a.m. Christmas morning Virginia received a phone call from the young girl squealing with delight and gratitude.

And with that, Virginia learned that there is indeed a Santa Claus – in her heart.