The meaning of Christmas: Part 1

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016

As a writer who has always appreciated a good story, the following, emailed to me by a friend, is too good not to share. However, it’s a bit long and due to space limitations, it will publish in two parts (Part 1 today and Part 2 next week).

It’s guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye….it did for me:

George sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate.

He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. Instead of throwing the man out, George told him to come and sit by the heater and warm up.

“Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly,” George replied, handing the man a Thermos full of homemade stew along with freshly brewed coffee.

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front. The driver was panicked.

“Mister can you help me,” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.”

George opened the hood. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead, and the tires looked bald.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said, turning to go back inside to his office where he fetched the keys to his old truck.

He opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said.

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night.

He walked back inside the office finding that the hungry stranger was gone, but George smiled when he saw the Thermos was empty with a used coffee cup beside it.

“Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George thought he would tinker with the old Chevy. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. He replaced the hose with a new one and then took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln and put ‘em on the Chevy. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention.

“Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound and gave the officer some pills George had used for old aches to help ease the officer’s pain.

“You hang in there, I ‘m going to get you an ambulance,” he told the wounded officer.

However, the phone line was dead.

“Maybe I can get one of your buddies on the police radio out in your car,” George said.

He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two-way radio.

George went back in to find the policeman sitting up.

“Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding.

“The bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though.”

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash and do it now,” the young man yelled.

See next week’s edition for part 2.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal