A Christmas Story

By Bob DeHare

Weeks ago my wife Debby and close friend, Naska embarked on one of many Saturday morning outings. First, a bagel and coffee at their favorite shop, then it’s off to do what good friends do best.

This morning the Eagles were having a fund raiser, selling donated items. The girls checked out all the unwanted treasures (Naska for some reason only known to her has to touch each and every item). They were soon drawn to the book section.

That afternoon after returning home, Debby showed me her new read. A most unusual titled book, with its dust cover in excellent condition for a book printed in 1996. Obviously the book had never been read or maybe even opened. The name of the book, “Who Were the Celts?” — Everything you ever wanted to know about the Celts, one thousand BC to the present, by Kevin Duffy. Chain armor, horseshoes, iron plough shares were just a few invented by Celts. The White House was designed and built by a man of Celtic descent. Their influence in art, literature, music, science, technology, warfare, and politics are written.

The year was 1996 an uncle had sent this book to a favorite niece, as a birthday present. The book never read, found its place in a corner bookcase. There it stayed for 16 years to one day be donated to a fund raiser. That afternoon Debby showed me her new book. My reaction was “REALLY…” Later that evening while sipping a cup of hot chocolate Debby loudly announced, “look what I found in my new book.” We both stared at a $1000.00 savings bond in pristine condition belonging to someone named Amanda, maturing in 2006.

It took some doing but with God’s help Debby located Amanda, now married, husband and two small children living in Ishpeming, Michigan. A small town in the Upper Peninsula.

Amanda returned our call and after answering several questions like what is the 7th number of your social security number, we knew we had the right Amanda. Amanda now 25 moved to the Upper Peninsula seven years ago because of a job offer for her husband. After only 5 years that job went south. So for the last two years, her family of four has been getting by on odd jobs.

Amanda’s savings bond was quickly sent with a promise of a Christmas card. I love a Christmas story.