The Christmas Coat

A Sweet Christmas Story to share

I’m not sure who wrote this – a friend sent it to me in an email – but it’s worth passing forward. Whether it’s fiction or fact, it brought happy tears to my eyes. If you know who the author is/was, please let me know in the comments. In the end, all we have is our story, our name, and what we gave away.
An old boy was fumbling around one day
In a women’s clothing store.
He’d found his wife a Christmas coat
And was headed for the door
When he bumped into a little boy
That looked like he was lost
And he said “Mister can you help me
Find out how much something costs?
Here it is almost Christmas
And the nights are gettin cold
Winter time is on us
And my mom don’t have a coat
I’ve been workin for the neighbors
And saving for a time.”
And in his tiny, outstretched hand
Was a dollar and a dime.
His gaze went from that big eyed boy
To that pretty Christmas coat
And he finally cleared away the lump
That had gathered in his throat.
He said, “Son,
that’s just what this coat costs.
We’re lucky that we found ‘er.”
And he turned around and gave a wink
To the lady at the counter.
She put it in a pretty box
And wrapped it up just so
And went off in the back
And found a big red Christmas bow.
He said “I thank you for your help, sir
And I kindly thank you, ma’am.
I hope y’all are gonna have a big Christmas
‘Cause now I know I am.”
Well, the old boy walked home busted
Except for the dollar and the dime
Thinking he’d just have to buy
The coat another time.
He told his wife that Christmas this year
Wouldn’t be much fun.
He gently took her in his arms
And told her what he’d done.
She said, “Why you old softie.
I wouldn’t trade you for a farm.
I’ve got two or three old coats
And your love to keep me warm.”
She put that money in a matchbox
And placed it beneath their tree
And said “That is the grandest gift
You’ve ever given me.”
The years went by like years will do
When people are in love.
Their marriage was a golden bond
That was forged by God above.
Then one day came some bitter news
That filled his heart with fright.
The doctor told the old man’s wife
That she was going to lose her sight.
He said, “There’s an operation we can do
But it puts me on the spot
‘Cause it’s a quite complex procedure
And it’s going to cost a lot.”
The old man said, “Doctor, I’m a failure.
I’ve made no preparation.
We don’t have the money
For that kind of an operation.”
The doctor got the strangest look
And he sat there for a while.
And then he slowly nodded,
And he broke out in a smile
He said, “Why sir, you can’t fool me.
You’re a very wealthy man.
You long ago invested
In the world’s best savings plan.
I’ll see she gets the best of care.
She’s going to be just fine.
And the total cost to you, old friend
Is a dollar and a dime.”
The old man stared in disbelief
Then he recognized that smile,
The one he’d seen those years ago
On a loving, thoughtful child.
He said, “What you gave to me that day
Was more than just a coat.
You gave me the gift of giving
And you gave my mother hope.
My mother’d been mistreated,
Neglected and abused.
But she gave life just one more chance
And it was all because of you.
Now every year she takes that coat
And lays it beneath our tree.
It represents to us the things

That Christmas ought to be.
She says that when we leave this world
For a better home someday,
The only things that we’ll take with us
Are the things we gave away.”

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