– A Christmas Story written by Mike Spreckelmeier

Robert was dreaming of a white Christmas. He didn’t know his dream would come true and that this year’s white Christmas would change the way he sees the world for the rest of his life.

Robert and his family had little to give or share this Christmas, but they had each other. As early light spilled through their old Florida home on Christmas morning, screams of joy could be heard. It may have only been a couple of small presents under the tree, but true joy and laughter filled their home. After eating a hot oatmeal breakfast, Robert’s family decided to go for a walk on the beach, which was only a few blocks away.

The beach was still and quiet, with very few people to be seen. The anxious family ran in the soft sand towards the water and chased the seagulls to the edge of the waves lapping up on the shoreline. The sky was a bright blue and the clouds looked like large, cotton balls. The water was very cold in the Gulf of Mexico and Robert’s toes stung as he walked along the waters edge. Then, he saw it…. a beautiful olive seashell that appeared to have a life of it’s own, rolling in the light surf.

He had played on the same beach for months before but never before had he seen such a beautiful shell. He was proud of his new found treasure. He ran to show it to his family. It was absolutely beautiful! He placed it in his pocket and continued to run and play with his siblings.

Soon, the beach became more crowded with people. A family that was vacationing from Michigan walked up to them and started talking. Their children had never seen the beach before. Their children were also of similar ages as Robert and his siblings. They enjoyed playing with each other immediately.

Steve was the oldest brother in the family from Michigan. He shared how excited he was to find “real seashells.” In that instant, and beaming with pride, he showed Robert his collection of a few pale and broken shells. As the morning went on, Steve’s family had to leave. As they were leaving, Robert ran up to Steve. He asked him to hold out his hand. Robert pulled out his beautiful Olive shell and gave it to Steve. Everyone stared at this beautiful shell that was stunning, shinny, colorful and perfect. Steve smiled from ear to ear as he received the gift. The families said their goodbyes and they started walking towards their hotel.

As Robert walked back towards his mother, the boy realized that he had a white Christmas indeed. The sand was white as snow, the clouds were bright white against the deep blue sky. As he continued to walk, he couldn’t believe it, but there it was… It was another beautiful Olive shell.

Two in one day? How can that be? Robert put the shell in his pocket and he walked away. When he showed his Mother she said, “I thought you gave that beautiful shell to Steve.” He replied, “I did.” He went on to say, “The shell wasn’t mine to begin with, mom, so I gave it to Steve.” His mother asked, “Where did you get the second shell?” Robert replied, “God gave me that one!”