|So…it is that awesome time of the year again!!
The Season had set in….finally! For Thomas it was the much awaited season of the year. He had finished setting up the tree, hung those baubles, bought those precious gifts for his family and friends and lovingly gift wrapped them. Apart from the fact that it was vacation time, Thomas loved the spirit that was in the air. The crowded shops, the Chrismassy decor and the sheer joy amongst the people was just magic!Now that his Grade 10 exams were over, Thomas thought that a part – time job would be helpful. His father had recently had a surgery and it had cost a large portion of the family savings. His uncle had recently informed him about his librarian friend who needed assistance maintaining his library – a strong boy who could attend to customers and guide them through the huge library. The opportunity seemed exciting! Who wouldn’t love it, he thought – “Imagine being surrounded by books of every genre and author” .Thomas could not have asked for a better job. And getting paid for it too! He looked forward to taking it up and joined the same weekend. He could work for three weeks full time during his vacations and then part time in the evenings after his school started.Day one at the library saw an enthusiastic Thomas checking the locations of various books and guiding people to them. Uncle Michael who owned the library was not too internet savvy, hence the records were all manual. Not a very helpful situation for an elderly person, Thomas decided. The afternoon went by very quietly and in the evening a lot of people came to the library –young students, busily looking for reference books for their projects and studies, women browsing through magazines and looking for kids books and also a lot of elderly men who read the newspapers and magazines.“A lot of them have stopped coming to the library”, said Michael uncle regretfully.“Why Sir?”, asked Thomas.“It is too cold outside Thomas. The senior citizens find it difficult to venture out in this climate.”That evening Thomas had a brilliant plan. He decided to discuss it with Michael uncle and put it to action the very next day.
|The next day at afternoon, he ventured up to Michael uncle and asked- “Uncle I could deliver those books to the senior citizens, you know. If you could find out what they would like to read, I would be glad to deliver those books to them.”
It was a fantastic solution thought Michael uncle. Business would pick up well too.
“Thanks, my boy.”
Thomas set off on his cycle the same afternoon. He carried books with him which fit the senior citizen age group and delivered it to them and also assessed their book requirements for the next time. “What a help that boy is” thought all the elderly people of the community. Soon he became indispensable to the people in his neighbourhood. Apart from just delivering the books, Thomas saw that most of these citizens lived alone. Soon he started helping them with their grocery, medicines purchase and did a lot of odd jobs.
|He developed a close relationship with his friendly neighbourhood people. Christmas was approaching and he was in a dilemma now. Thomas wished he had enough money to gift each of his new friends a lovely present. But he simply could not afford it!
He discussed it with Cynthia, his elder sister. Cynthia listened to him gravely and gave him a wise suggestion.
“You are a good human being Thomas. Everyone in the neighbourhood appreciates how much you do for them. Mom and dad are extremely proud of you.”
Saying so, Cynthia advised Thomas about the gifts he could give his friends.
“Brilliant!” thought Thomas. “Why did I not think of this myself!!”
The next week, on Christmas day, his gifts were all ready to be given.
Sam uncle’s gift from Thomas was – “This gift card entitles you to send me on 5 trips to the supermarket, without any delivery charges”.
Reema aunty’s gift was – “This gift card entitles you to 5 visits to the Church in a month, where I will accompany you.” Reema aunty was a wheelchair patient and nothing gave her more pleasure than attending church on weekends.
Michael uncle’s gift – Thomas was going to computerize the entire library system. “I will get to learn so much in the process” was Thomas’s modest reply to Michael uncle’s thankful message.
The entire neighbourhood was touched by Thomas’s love. All of them had gifted Thomas something or the other. But Thomas’s gift beat them all. A gift of love indeed, they all felt!
And that, dear readers is the true spirit of Christmas- joy, love and blessings. Thomas was lucky to be blessed with all three!