is name was Little Teddy. And the day was Christmas Eve. Little Teddy had been so excited this Christmas. "This year", he thought, "I will have a cozy home with a family, and a little boy or girl who will Love me and be with me all the time." You see, Little Teddy was a special department store "Christmas" Teddy Bear, and he was sitting on a display shelf waiting for someone to buy him and take him to their cozy home. Last year, Christmas came and went, but no one took Little Teddy home with them. All year long, Little Teddy sat in a dark, dusty storage room, waiting for another Christmas to come. Waiting to find a Loving Home.
ut now the hour was getting late, and it was Christmas Eve. This would be the last chance he would have to find a home. It was getting very, very late. And as the hours and minutes passed by, Little Teddy grew more worried. The day had passed so quickly. There were lots of people everywhere, but no one came by to look at Little Teddy. He knew they would be closing the store early today. It was Christmas Eve. The employees at the store wanted to go home to their Loving families, to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day playing with their children . . . sharing the warmth of their cozy homes with their Loved Ones.
he store was nearly empty now. The customers had all left. And now he saw the store employees putting on their coats and gloves and boots. He saw them moving toward the front doors and he heard one of them excitedly yell to the other, "Lock it up and Let's go home. Our families are waiting." Suddenly . . . the lights went out. Everyone was gone. Little Teddy heard the front door close and the latch click. And now he sat alone, in the dark, cold, quiet store, which only a short time earlier had been bustling with excitement . . . and HOPE.
lone and sad, tears began to run down Little Teddy's cheeks. They flowed like a river. Little Teddy would not have a cozy Home this Christmas either. He began to think maybe something was wrong with him. Maybe he was defective. All of his Teddy friends had found homes. They'd be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day nustled by the Christmas Tree. Soon the children would be hugging and cuddling their new Teddy Bear friends. But not Little Teddy. He'd be spending yet another Christmas alone . . . in a dark, empty store. Later, they'd be sending him back into the dark, dirty storage room for another year.
ittle Teddy cried well into the night. He cried and cried until there were no tears left. And then he fell asleep.
hristmas Eve was nearly over now. Soon it would be midnight. The store was so still and quiet that it frightened Little Teddy. He was better off asleep, where He could at least 'imagine' what it might be like to have a cozy Home . . . Where He could dream of having hugs and cuddles and toys and a lifelong friend to play with.
he store was so still and quiet, that you could hear the clocks ticking from two aisles away. Little Teddy lay motionless. Sound asleep. But suddenly . . . there was a loud crash. The clammer woke Little Teddy up instantly. What could it be? Everyone was gone! Little Teddy sat up and looked around. He saw something move near the front of the store. It was moving closer and closer. Little Teddy hid behind a carton and peered into the darkness, because he was afraid. He could see a shadow of something . . . someone. The shadow moved closer and closer, and then it turned down the same aisle that Little Teddy was on. It was coming right towards him. Now it was right in front of Little Teddy . . . and suddenly it stopped, dead in its tracks, directly in front of Little Teddy. It was so dark, Little Teddy had trouble telling what it was . . . or Who it was. Finally, he could see that it was the image of a man . . . a very large man. He was wearing some kind of fur clothing and a funny hat, but it was so dark that Little Teddy could not tell what color his clothes were. Then he noticed that the man had a lot of hair all over his face. Little Teddy had never seen anyone who looked like this . . . except . . .
he only time Little Teddy ever saw a man who looked like this, was in the pictures he'd seen of Santa Claus. Could this really be? Suddenly, the man stretched out his arms towards Little Teddy. His white-gloved hands gently wrapped around Little Teddy's chubby tummy. As he carefully scooped Little Teddy up into his arms, he said to him, "Come here little fella. I have plans for you.". As he said that, he laid Little Teddy across his chest and wrapped his arms around him in a warm and gentle embrace. He held him there for a time, just rocking and hugging Little Teddy.
ittle Teddy now knew who this man was. Santa had come for Little Teddy. Santa had come to see Little Teddy on Christmas Eve, to make sure he did not spend it alone, in the cold, dark, silent store. Had Santa come to rescue Him? Little Teddy hugged Santa so hard, he never wanted to let go. Santa's suit was so soft and warm. But Little Teddy was still afraid. Maybe Santa just came to say hello. Maybe he just came by to see Little Teddy, and then he would put Little Teddy back on the shelf and leave again. What was going to happen?
any times Little Teddy had dreamed of something like this happening. Was this a dream? What was happening? Suddenly, Santa cradled Little Teddy gently in his large hands, as he turned to reach for a huge cloth sack that was filled with toys. Santa carefully placed Little Teddy into the sack, but it was so full, that Little Teddy's head stuck out of the top of the sack and he could see everything. Santa then tied the sack loosely at the top and threw the sack over his shoulder, as he darted out of the store.
here was a full moon that night, and Little Teddy was glad to be out of the dark and in the light again. It was only later that Little Teddy came to understand the plans that Santa had made. It happened, that Santa had promised a little girl that he would give her a Teddy Bear for Christmas this year. She was a very, very poor little girl. Her family could not buy her toys for Christmas because they could just barely provide food for her to eat on Christmas Day. There would be no supper for her on Christmas Eve. It was to be saved for Christmas Day. Medical bills had swollowed up all of their money, when the Little Girl fell very sick less than a year ago. The Little Girl knew when she gave Santa her Christmas List, that if He could not give her a Teddy Bear for Christmas, she would get NO toys that year. And Santa knew it too. It was the only thing the Little Girl had put on her Christmas List. Santa was determined that the blanket beneath her Christmas Tree would NOT be empty.
ittle Teddy had never flown before. But he did a lot of flying that night. When Santa arrived at the Little Girl's Home, Little Teddy could see how poor her family was. Her Christmas Tree was a scraggly thing, with bare spots everywhere. But there was something special about that Tree. Little Teddy could see how carefully the Little Girl had decorated it, with special home-made ornaments, to try to fill-in the bald spots. The star at the top of the Tree was broken and crooked, but it had her name across the bottom of it and it was uniquely hers. It read, "Melissa".
s Santa charged into the livingroom and toward Melissa's Christmas Tree, he swiftly pulled the sack away from his shoulder and placed it on the floor. He gingerly reached into the sack and gently scooped Little Teddy into his arms. He hugged Little Teddy one last time, and he said to him, "You will never be alone again, little one. This is your Home forever . . . in the Heart of an Angel." Little Teddy saw a tear stream down Santa's cheek, as he carefully placed him underneath the tree. Little Teddy's cheeks were wet too. But these were tears of Love and Joy, not sorrow. Somehow, these tears felt different from the tears before . . . These tears were like a gift and a treasure.
s Santa swiftly made his exit, he turned to look back at Little Teddy sitting beneath the Christmas Tree. He waved one last good-bye and Little Teddy waved too . . . and he continued to wave, long after Santa had vanished into the night.
hristmas morning Melissa got up early. She was afraid to look under the Christmas Tree. What if it was empty and bare? How would she be able to hide her disappointment, so that her Mother and Father would not see her pain? They were already awake and they would see her. What should she do?
alissa crept slowly down the hallway, toward the Christmas Tree. From a distance, she thought she saw something underneath the tree . . . but she wasn't sure. She got closer . . . and then, with a screech, she yelled. "Oh Teddy! My Little Teddy!" She ran to the Tree so fast, she almost knocked it down. She scooped Little Teddy up in her thin, frail arms and cradled him to her body. She kept rocking him side-to-side in her embrace, chanting over and over again, "Oh, my Teddy . . . My Little Teddy". Tears were everywhere that special Christmas morning. Melissa was crying . . . Little Teddy was crying . . . and Melissa's Mother and Father wept at seeing their little girl so happy on a Christmas morning once threatened with dispair.
But they were tears of Joy and Love. This was the best Christmas they had ever had. Amidst such poverty . . . this was the best Christmas ever. And at once, Little Teddy knew and understood what Santa meant, when he had said to him, "You will never be alone again, little one. This is your Home forever . . . in the Heart of an Angel." And it was true, for it came to pass that Little Teddy and Melissa never parted, even to this day. And in This Way, so it has come to pass that many adults Love their Teddies to this very day, even as the children do.
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