It was the morning before Christmas. Joe returned to his condo after a trip to the grocery store. He noticed an envelope taped to his door. He set his bags down and ripped the envelope from the door. He ripped it open and found a pair of green socks with white snowflakes and candy canes, and he found a note that said, ‘Come to the Christmas tree at the park tonight to receive your special Christmas present’.
Joe was curious about the socks. What is going on here? Is this a joke?
That evening, Joe arrived at the park. There was an inch of snow on the ground, but the sidewalk was cleared. The air was frigid cold, but her was wearing a warm coat and hat. The tree at the center of the park was decorated with colored lights. The light poles were decorated with bows, wreaths, and garland. There were people dressed as elves passing out candy to the children. Carolers in red choir robes were strolling through the park singing Christmas carols. Parents and their children were taking a stroll taking in the excitement. Joe pulled the socks out of his pocket and glanced at it. He wondered what this present was. He saw a red house at the edge of the park with a long line of people. Maybe Santa had his present.
He stood in line among the happy and screaming kids. An hour later, he finally went in and met Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus sitting on a bench.
“Hello there.” Santa greeted him. “What do you want for Christmas?”
“Well, I am wondering if you can help me.” Joe took the socks out of his pocket. “These socks were in an envelope taped to my door. A note said that I was to come here tonight and receive a special Christmas present.”
“They’re just green Christmas socks,” Santa replied. “The only special present from me is a box of Christmas chocolates. Merry Christmas!”
“Thanks!” Joe took the box of chocolates. “Merry Christmas!”
Joe went outside to a bench and sat. He was convinced that this was not the special present he was getting. Why did they give him these socks? Was he supposed to meet somebody? Was somebody, other than Santa Claus, giving him a gift? These questions were going through his mind.
Joe remained on the bench for hours. Santa and Mrs. Claus closed their house and went home. The people were leaving the park. He was alone. Seeing no sense of the situation, he decided to go home. He stood and walked to the tree in the center of the park to return home.
He was startled. A woman was alone on a bench on the other side of the tree.
“Merry Christmas to you.” He turned to her.
“Are you spending Christmas alone?” She asked.
He was pondering her question. “Well, yeah. I am. I have no family to spend it with.”
“Neither do I.” She winked.
He was mesmerized by her bright face, sparkling eyes, shiny brown hair flowing from her fuzzy hat onto her thick black coat.
“I normally spend my Christmas walking through the park,” he said. “Anyway, it is late, and I need to get home.”
“Have a lovely night,” she said.
He was about to turn away, but something caught his eye. He noticed her white gloves, dark blue jeans, and her brown hiking shoes, but she was wearing no socks.
“Aren’t your ankles cold?” he asked.
“Oh!” Her face glittered. “They are very cold.”
He thought about the moment. He pulled the socks out of his pocket. “You can use these.”
Her eyes widened. “I was looking for those. Where did you find them?”
“Well, they were in an envelope taped to my door,” he replied.
“I was looking for them.” She was excited. “I am so glad you found them. Can you put them on for me?”
Bright thoughts were in his mind. He stepped over and sat on the bench next to her. Her eyes sparkled as he lifted her leg onto his lap and unlaced her shoe. He gently removed her shoe and stared at her foot.
“You have beautiful feet,” he said.
“Thank you.” She grinned.
“It’s also freezing cold out here,” he added, “and I hate to see these beautiful toes covered in frostbite.”
He took the one sock and gradually slipped it onto her foot. He glanced at her bright smiley face noticing that she was enjoying the moment. He put her shoe back on and tied the laces. He lifted the other leg on his lap. He unlaced the shoe and removed it, and he put the other sock and shoe on. He peaked at her face and saw a beautiful smile.
“That was a very special Christmas present for me.” She was glowing with glee. “Only a very special man would do that for me. I have never had a man to spend Christmas with. Can I spend this Christmas with you?”
“I had never spent Christmas with a beautiful woman,” he replied. “You must be the special Christmas present.”
She winked and smiled.
“I am Joe.” He reached out his hand.
“I am Mary.” She rolled over and kissed him.
They got up and held hands strolling down the walk. For both, this was their special Christmas present.