Smells Like Christmas Spirit

December 20, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the library office with a few students, one of whom has seen (and caused) more than his fair share of trouble. On display on the shelves in the office are some of the librarian’s souvenirs from her trips, including a marionette from South America.   Manny has had no prior experience with string puppets, so we were all amazed and delighted when he picked it up, laid down a beat, and made the clown dance.

After watching his performance, I decided to get Manny his very own marionette.  I put it in a Christmas gift bag, and gave it to him this past Thursday.  I wish you could have seen his face when he saw me holding that bag out to him.  His expression was one of pure disbelief.  He kept saying, “No.  Really?  No. Really?  That’s a present for me?”   I was finally able to convince Manny that it was indeed for him.  Much to my surprise,  he had tears in his eyes as he accepted the gift.  When he looked inside and saw the marionette, a huge smile spread across his face.  He thanked me over and over, and gave me a big hug.

Manny is a “tough guy,” and I thought he might be embarrassed to walk around the halls with a puppet, so I suggested that he put it in his backpack. He said, “Are you kidding?? I want to show this off!!”

Manny’s priceless reaction to an unexpected gift really touched my heart and gave me a good dose of Christmas spirit.

Song of the Day:  The Spirit of Christmas by Ray Charles

“Sharing so much joy and cheer
What a wonderful feeling.”

17 Responses to “Smells Like Christmas Spirit”

  1. mercystreet said

    How sweet and thoughtful of you. Makes me feel like Christas is happier.

  2. I love it! Isn’t Christmas Spirit fun?!

    I gave a kid a $10 tip yesterday for bagging my groceries. His widdle face just lit up!

  3. You are a true Christmas angel, my friend.

  4. Kim said

    I wish I worked with you.

  5. goatbarnwitch said

    You deserve a big hug for that thoughtful gift so if Manny didn’t give you one here is one from me {{{Stephanie}}}

  6. Dee said

    What you did could be one of the events that made the crucial difference in young Manny’s direction in life. Good on you, Stephanie!

  7. Betty Lou said

    What a great thing to do for a kid who probably doesn’t know too much about the Christmas Spirit.

  8. sasha said

    Yes, that is exactly what Christmas is all about! That was so sweet of you and I teared up when I read it. *sigh*

  9. terri t. said

    There’s another time when you really paid attention and made someone’s world a bit brighter…..What a great gift and one that he will remember forever…I know

  10. LA said

    Sooooo you! Sweet Steph who somehow always gets to the heart of things. You rock!

    I can’t believe how terrific Manny was at working that puppet! Out of nowhere like that! Perhaps he has a career in front of him now. Wouldn’t that be cool? ~LA

  11. JJ said

    That was so sweet of you and dang! that clown can dance!

  12. Alvin said

    You rock Steph… Merry xmas right into your heart. 😉

  13. Michael said

    What a great story. Giving like that goes both ways and is all the more meaningful.

  14. Ah, this is why I could never teach…I probably would’ve written the young man off after causing so much trouble. You’re a far better woman than I! Merry Christmas!

    (And whom-who?-would’ve thought that a marionette would be the key to seeing the other side of Manny?)

  15. Stefani said

    Aw, Stephanie – I love that story! You are so sweet. I’m a little misty over this.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!

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