A Christmas tale I have never forgotten

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It was Christmas Eve, 1956.

My Dad was leaving the office of his first job as reporter/photographer/sports editor/weatherman at the Roseville Press-Tribune, driving his 1954 Mercury Sedan to his parent’s farm house for dinner.

It was bitter cold outside.

He had a freshly-cut $25 bonus check in his pocket, a fortune for his $57.50 weekly salary.

He was going 40 or 50 miles an hour down the road just outside of Roseville when he saw a couple huddled by the side of the road, hitchhiking. The woman was clutching a small bundle that he realized when he sped past was a baby.

About a thousand yards after passing them, he pulled off the side of the road, hung a u-turn, and went back to get them.

They climbed in his warm car gratefully, and snuggled against the back seat.

“Where are you going?” my Dad asked.

“To Oregon,” the father said. “They are still picking fruit up there, so we are going to get some work.”

My Dad looked out the windshield at the frigid night, and started the car back down the road.

He pulled in the parking lot of a bowling alley where he knew the owner.

“Stay here for a second, I will be right back,” he said.

He went inside and cashed his bonus check at the bar.

He got back in the car, and drove to the Greyhound station, where he purchased two one-way bus tickets to Portland. The tickets came to just about $25.

With some spare bills in his pocket, he got some food at the snack bar and brought it to the couple.

The mother was overwhelmed with emotion.

He waved goodbye, and drove to his parent’s house with a good feeling in his heart.

“Although that $25 was a lot of money at the time, I didn’t really need it,” he told me years later. “I was on my way home to a warm house and big Christmas Eve dinner.”

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! May you receive the help you need just when you need it the most, and may you give help at the moment in which it is most needed.

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36 Responses to “A Christmas tale I have never forgotten”

  1. Kevin Mar says:

    Absolutely beautiful story that epitomizes the Spirit of Christmas. Thanks for sharing. I will pass it on.

  2. Joe says:

    Pamela, thanks for sharing. A very beautiful touching story, its good to know there are still Good Samaritans out there.

  3. And that is the real essence of Christmas. I’m proud of your dad!

  4. […] Pamela Slim from Escape From Cubicle Nation posted a beautiful story I wanted to share with you. […]

  5. Grace Lee says:

    Very touching story. That is what Christmas is all about – to be able to share and the joy is to give. Thanks for sharing the story. Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family.


  6. Cheryl Dolan says:

    Lovely, lovely story. Tears. Merry Christmas Pam!
    Hugs, Cheryl

  7. Natalia says:

    What a wonderful story – thank you so much for sharing this. If only more people acted this way today, we’d have more peace and harmony and less hate. Merry Christmas to you and your family Pam.


  8. Samuel says:

    Awesome story! Love you Pam! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jen says:

    Compassion . . . your dad had it, and the world needs more of it. Beautiful story.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  10. Julie Stuart says:

    Wow, that got the tears rolling down my cheeks. I read that just after I saw pictures of my sister yoga ashram delivering piles of food and toys to a neighborhood on Coney Island putting huge smiles on the faces of kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a present.

    So beautiful to see the resilience and kindness of the human spirit. You have a wonderful dad, Pam. Merry Christmas and all my love.

  11. Gopal Bhayankaram says:

    Very heart felt story to know there are really some good individuals on earth. As a mortal person and in my journey towards self realization. I am conscious that the greatest wealth is not the material possession but the honest feeling and intention to be of service to another living soul.

  12. Lalit Kale says:

    This is wonderful story of helping one human to another without any expectations and that leads to believe that world is still filled with good people.

    Merry Christmas and wish you a very happy new year!

    God bless you!

  13. David Wang says:

    That’s a lovely story! I hope that I will have such a story to tell my son in the future too. Merry Christmas to you and your family Pam 🙂


  14. Yeah, I kind of love this story. Remind me of this one, which has been making its rounds on the internets recently.

  15. Ngee Key says:

    Thanks Pamela for sharing this story. It touches my heart and soul. I am proud of your dad just like u did. I have to say thank you for your book too, escape from cubicle nation. Your book transform my life from corporate into entrepreneurship a few months ago. Love your sharing. May the joy and spirit of Christmas be with you. I will share your story with my Facebook friends. God bless u and your family : )

  16. Sami says:

    That story made me cry. sniff, nice guy.

  17. Andy Pels says:

    How Slim of him. :]

  18. Sylvia says:

    Thanks, Pam.

    Your dad’s experience and your sharing of his story connects all of us to the sweet depths of our humanity. What a lovely gift!

    Much Love & Laughter to You & Your Wondrous Family,


  19. Thank you for sharing this. It is the true spirit of Christmas. I can only hope to be so generous.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    What a beautiful story and a generous heart.

  21. I would say that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, my friend. Your generous heart is much like your father’s. And that is why blessings continue to rain down on you and yours.

    Much love,

  22. Such a moving story!

    Last night I received a frantic call from a woman who on short notice was in need of rent money and also didn’t have Christmas presents for her children.

    Today, I was blessed to have the honor of delivering presents for the excited children and the money for the rent as a representative from my church.

    Your father’s story reminds us that real abundance doesn’t come in the form of how much we retain, but how much we can change the outcome for others by what we give away. One lesson that we should not soon forget.

  23. Joe says:

    What a great story – goosebumps, great!

  24. wayne says:

    Hi Pam, beautiful story. It’s unfortunate that the criminals have ruined it for the ones who really need it now days. You really have to think about it before you would pick up a hitchhiker in these times.

  25. Robert Middleton says:

    Thanks for this wonderful story, Pamela. I’ve forwarded it to my whole e-list. Merry Christmas to you!

    Cheer, Robert

  26. Arianna says:

    now that’s the true meaning of CHristmas.

  27. What a story !!
    My Father always used to say a man is only wealthy when he can render financial help to others or himself when it is most needed.
    Thanks for sharing.

  28. David says:

    And is this not why we do what we do as Entrepreneurs? To put ourselves in a position to bless others.

    Thank you.


  29. Hiro Boga says:

    Beautiful story, beautiful man! What a wonderful legacy to have behind you.

    Love, Hiro

  30. So moving. So beautiful. So “on” re: the reason for the season – whatever your belief system.

    Thanks for sharing!

  31. Kyle says:

    Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it and brightening my holiday.

  32. Sandi Amorim says:

    That story moved me to tears and reminded me of my mom’s first Christmas in Canada. Her family arrived (from Italy) in Winnipeg on Christmas Eve and stepped out of the train into a frozen winter wonderland where they were met by a group from a local church with warm clothes. The kindness of strangers is heart-warming.

    Thanks Pam for sharing your dad’s story and reminding me of what I really love about Christmas.

  33. ChuckA says:

    Merry Christmas!