Little Ben – Christmas special story
Seven-year-old Ben was super excited. Christmas was just a day away. With his mum Rhea, he hurried into the crowded shop to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. With his little hands, he jostled his way into the toy section as his mum watched him with amusement. While some people mumbled at the prices of the toys, little Ben got busy selecting toy cars for himself.
Suddenly Rhea found that instead of focusing on the car in his hand, he was staring at something in the corner. Out of the corner of her eye Rhea saw a little boy, rather shabbily dressed, gently holding a doll. Ben was staring at him in a strange manner. The boy kept touching the blonde doll’s hair as he held her. “Mum, I wonder who the doll is for,” said Ben to Rhea when he saw his mum looking at what he had been.
Both watched him turn to an old lady and ask earnestly, “Are you sure I don’t have enough money for this?” The lady replied impatiently, “Song, you do know that you don’t have enough money for it. It’s too expensive.”
The boy’s face fell but he continued to hold the doll. Rhea was touched to see Ben look sad when the lady told the little boy to keep the doll back and wait for her there as she had to go get some other things. “Song, I shall be back in a few minutes and we will go home then.”
Rhea watched Ben leave her side and walk up to Song. The contrast between the two little ones was a little too marked. Ben, all smartly dressed and Song, clothed in a dirty attire. Ben gave him one of his precious bars of chocolate. Rhea knew Ben had taken a liking to that boy or he wouldn’t have shred his coco bar.
Then Ben gently asked the boy who the doll was for. Song lifted his tear-stained face and said, “It’s for my sister. She wanted this doll badly for Christmas. She wanted Santa to bring it.”
Little Ben did not know what to say to this. So, Rhea walked up and told the boy that may be Santa was going to bring it. But, Song said “Well aunty, my sister is with Jesus. She left last week. Santa can’t go there.” Before Rhea could react, he continued, “Dad says Mommy will join her soon. So, I want to give the doll to my Mommy for her.”
Ben kept staring as the boy again said, “I have begged Dad to tell Mommy to wait till I got back from the store.” Then Song pulled out some pictures from his pocket and showed them to the two of them. “I want Mommy to take this with her so that she always remembers me.”
By this time, the old lady had come back and asked Song to leave with her. They left the toy section. Rhea too wheeled her cart away with Ben by her side.
Suddenly Ben pulled at her skirt and asked her, “Mum, can I please have some money?” Rhea was surprised. “Sweetheart, what do you need money for. We will buy all that you want,” she assured her son.
“Mum, I want to gift the blonde toy to Song, please mum,” Ben begged of Rhea. “Mum, I promise not to ask you for anything till next Christmas. Let this be your Christmas gift for me,” said Ben.
Rhea was so touched. She hugged him tight. Little Ben had really understood what Christmas was all about. What more could a mum ask of her son!
Rhea reached into her purse and pulled out some money. “Now Ben here is more than Song would need for that doll. Ask him to buy the doll for his sister and a nice toy car for himself,” Rhea said.
“Even then I can see it’s too much Mum, you sure you want to give it all to him? Won’t Daddy be angry,” asked Ben.
Gulping her tears, Rhea added, “Ben, without his mum, Song will be very lonely. You can tell him to buy lots to games to keep himself busy, okay.” Ben nodded as his mum slipped the money into his hand.
Ben ran after Song as Rhea followed with tears flowing down her cheeks. For once, she felt grateful for the family her Ben had. He would never be lonely for she would always be there with him. She wiped her tears away as she reached them.
The money was plenty for the doll. Song softly thanked Ben and said, “Thank you Jesus for giving me so much money.” Song explained, “I had just asked Jesus to give some money to buy this doll so Mommy can take it with her to give to my sister.”
“Jesus heard my prayer and has given me so much,” said Song as he hugged Ben tight. “Granny, we can come back for my car and games later. They must be waiting for us at home,” said Song.
The old lady was about to say something to Rhea but she understood what had happened. They left quietly.
To lighten things, Rhea asked Ben if he had chosen his plane. He had coveted it for long. “No, mum I just had my gift. Thanks,” replied Ben very calmly. That night for the fist time, without anyone coaxing me, Ben prayed for some 5 minutes before going to sleep. He also held his parents closer than usual before leaving for his room. The love that Song had for his mum and sister has affected Ben as well!