Johnny was just six years old.
He was all boy. He could go outside and get dirty in under one minute.
His mother was a single Mom and she struggled just to keep a roof over their
heads and food on the table. Christmas was an especially rough time for
She could work a second job but she needed the money just to heat
their simple apartment.
Johnny wanted a Christmas tree.
knew if he had a tree then Santa Claus would come.
See, all the times
before Santa hadn't seen a tree . . . that's why he hadn't left any
presents. His mother wanted to buy a tree but she just couldn't afford
it. In the big city, trees were expensive and the lot owners would
rather burn them up than give them away.
Johnny went to Church on Sundays.
He liked the Children's Pastor, Brother Mike. Brother Mike and his
wife would give them special treats for no reason.
They would say that
they just loved kids. They didn't have any kids anymore.
Their kids were
all grown up.
One day, Johnny asked Brother Mike,
"Do you believe in Santa Claus?
Some of the older kids said there isn't
a Santa Claus."
Brother Mike said, "Well, when you get
older it is harder and harder to believe in Santa Claus."
Johnny wanted a tree and he decided to
take things into his own hands.
After Church, he went down to the altar
and he began to pray. "God . . . I have been really good this year.
pretty good and I was wondering if you give us a Christmas tree this
year. I want one, but I really want it for my Mom. She works so hard and
I want Santa Claus to stop by our house. I want my Mom to get something
As Johnny finished praying, he got up and he saw Brother
Mike walking toward the back of church.
He yelled, "Brother Mike, you
looking for me?"
Brother Mike, turned around with a
strange look on his face, and said, "No
. . No . . I was just going by."
Christmas eve came and little
Johnny was afraid that God didn't hear him. It was already night
and there was no tree. There was a knock on the door.
opened the door and there stood a young man. Johnny thought he
recognized him from the Church.
On the young man's shoulder was a
beautiful Christmas Tree. The young man said, "Johnny here? Got a
Christmas Tree special delivery for a boy named Johnny."
Johnny was beside himself.
He ran and jumped up and down. He looked at the beautiful green
fir. It must be six feet tall he thought. There was a tag on
the tree. It said, "To: Johnny From: Jesus"
Right behind the young man, came
someone else stomping up the steps.
It was Santa Claus. On his shoulder
was huge bag.
Johnny could hear him, "Ho, Ho, Ho, and a Merry
Christmas!" He opened his bag and out poured presents. Not one or two
but dozens of presents with Johnny's name and his Mom's name written on
them." Jimmy went wild and he looked at his Mom and she had tears
streaming down her face but she was smiling.
walked away, the young man turned to Santa Claus and said, "Brother
Mike, I haven't believed in Santa Claus for a long time. But
tonight, I think I do."