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Once Upon a Christmas

By Victoria Olivetta

Christmas was God’s big splash, the greatest miracle ever—His love in the form of His only Son, Jesus, sent down to our earthly plane to lead us back to Him. And Christmas is still a time for miracles. Like ripples traveling out from that splash, little Christmas miracles remind us of God’s unfailing love.

One Christmas my husband Daniel and I planned to take Christmas presents to the children of many of the poorest families in Goiânia, Brazil, where we were living at the time. The previous year, a friend who owns a toy shop had given us hundreds of toys to distribute, but this year he was only able to contribute five large plastic trucks.

What good could five toy trucks accomplish? We mulled this over for days, until one night the answer came to Daniel in a dream. “I know what we can do with those trucks,” he told me the next morning. “Pedro recently had heart surgery.” (Pedro was a vendor at the central market, who donated fruit and vegetables to our volunteer work whenever he could.) “He and his wife, Maria, used their entire savings to pay his hospital bills, so they probably weren’t able to buy Christmas presents for their children this year. They have five boys.”

The trucks were so big that they filled a large plastic sack. Daniel slung it over his shoulder and set out for the bus stop and the other side of the city, where Pedro and his family lived.

Pedro and Maria’s children were playing in the street as Daniel, who is graying and happens to have a beard, ap-proached, the bag still over his shoulder. One of the boys saw him coming and ran inside yelling, “Mommy! Daddy! Santa is here!”

So Santa spent the afternoon with Pedro and Maria and their boys. When he got home that night, Daniel’s face still shone with joy as he described the children’s happiness. “Pedro and Maria had felt terrible that they didn’t have money for presents for their children, but God took care of that! Five boys, five colorful trucks!”

Victoria Olivetta is a member of the Family International in Argentina.