David Bruce: Christmas Anecdotes

In December 2013, Redditor goulaWhat learned that her Secret Santa was billionaire Bill Gates, who overnighted her a seven-pound package. The first thing that goulaWhat saw when she opened the package was a stuffed animal: a cow. She wrote, “I thought Bill sounded like a friendly fellow. In fact, I had this whole image of this poor guy named Bill trying to navigate my wishlist full of makeup, nailpolish, glittery things to buy me. Quite frankly I felt bad for this ‘Bill’ since I’m a self-identified pain in the [*]ss to shop for.” The stuffed animal was actually a symbol of one of her gifts: A donation made in her name to Heifer International, a charitable organization that gives animals to impoverished families. A note that Mr. Gates enclosed with the gift stated, “Jo Rachel, My Secret Santa present to you is a cow. Don’t worry, you will not have to build a barn. This cow will be given to a family in need, in your name, through Heifer International. It will provide them with income and dairy products, and it will help them help themselves. Happy Holidays, Bill Gates.” He also enclosed a photograph of himself holding the stuffed animal and the note so that Jo Rachel would know that he really was Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. He also sent her another gift: a National Geographic coffee table travel book titled “Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips.” She had mentioned that she wanted to see the world in her Secret Santa post. On Reddit, she wrote, “This gift was perfect!” The last thing she saw was the note by and photograph of Bill Gates, and then she realized who her Secret Santa was. She wrote, “Wait. holy sh[*]t. Time out, and then it finally hit me. All the presents I just tore open, the charity, then everything — was from Bill GATES … my jaw hit the EVER LOVING FLOOR.” She also wrote, “It makes me so happy that he was able to donate to a charity on my behalf that helped people with both needs and educational benefits. Nailed it, Bill!” A spokesperson for Mr. Gates stated that he wanted to draw attention to Heifer International. Jo Rachel also wrote, “PS: Sorry for the Apple iPad on my wishlist — that was really awkward.”

In December 2013, a man who wishes to remain anonymous donated $25,000 to pay off approximately 100 layaway accounts at the Walmart in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Most likely, this was the same man who had donated $25,000 to pay off layaway accounts at the same Walmart the previous year. Kim Summers of Bellefontaine had paid $100 of her $272 bill and received a telephone call telling her that the rest of her bill had been paid and to come and pick up her layaway items: an iPod and a Barbie Horse Stable. She said, “It brings back the spirit of Christmas and makes people believe again. We have given food to our local pantry, and I have [a] friend in need that I have helped her out, too.” Stefanie Evans of De Graff, Ohio, and her family of eight children also benefited from the generosity of the layaway angel. She had just paid another $20 on the $200 remaining on her layaway account when she got called to customer service over the intercom. She said that she thought, “Oh, Lord, what is it now?” After being told that her layaway account had been paid off, she was incredulous at first and then happy: “I can’t even put it into words how thankful I was. Eight kids come with eight long Christmas lists. It is a relief to be done with Christmas this soon because usually we go right up to the day.” She and her husband are both self-employed, but 2013 had been a rough year financially. Ms. Evans said, “This is a wonderful gift, and there is no word that expresses it for families like mine and others out there that we needed it.” Walmart store manager Jennifer Schumacher said, “Some of those customers, instead of just picking up their layaway, they actually paid on other people’s layaways.”

In 1943, Johnny Carson was in the Navy, and he had just finished boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Base. It was Christmas, and he was feeling sorry for himself because he was not at home, although later he realized that he had it much better than the servicemen who were actively fighting the war. At least he was in a safe area. He did what many servicemen in such circumstances do. He went to the Chicago USO and met some friends. They decided to have a good time although they were away from home on Christmas, and they did have a good time enjoying each other’s company. At midnight, they got a special surprise: A big-time musical group paid a surprise visit to the USO. Mr. Carson said, “They gave us a good two hours of songs and instrumentals. We would have welcomed anything, but this trio was fantastic — one of the best I’ve ever heard. They were known as the King Cole Trio, Nat ‘King’ Cole, of course, the head man.”

On 19 December 2013, Redditor ISitOnAThroneOfLies posted a photograph on Imgur with this caption: “A friend is having the gas pipes on his street replaced. His son asked them to look for buried treasure in his garden and they came home to this.” The photograph showed a little bag of chocolate coins wrapped in gold-colored foil; it also showed a note that said, “While digging in your garden we found some gold coins. Hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas from the gas men.” On Imgur, privs commented, “Kid’s going to be so disappointed to find out it is real gold and not chocolate,” and hendeaux commented, “When you’re a kid, chocolate gold > real gold.” On Reddit, Superschutte commented, “Sweet now, but when the pirate who buried that comes looking for it, there might be some problems.”

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” — Andy Rooney

© 2015, David Bruce, All Rights Reserved

David Bruce has lots of anecdote books for sale:


Free PDF book: Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by David Bruce


Romance Books by Brenda Kennedy (Some Free)


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