Most people that hang around downtown have seen the famous Card Trick Man, and his tricks great! Last week when my husband and I saw him at the mall. I spotted him with a young, pink-haired girl eating lunch in the food court. For some strange reason this image touched me– he had gotten the bus out to have lunch with who I presumed to be his daughter. It wasn’t hard to tell that he cared a lot about her. I felt like I wanted to approach him, and tell him that I appreciated his card tricks and the way he likes to entertain people, and to say Merry Christmas. Nervousness got the best of me and I didn’t get a chance to say anything.

christmas-village-1088143_960_720Then today I got a taxi to our family restaurant to collect a bunch of seafood for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. The Card Trick Man was on the corner of the intersection, panhandling. He only had a few coins on his plate. I really wanted to do something special for him, so I gave him a gift certificate for our restaurant, and when I finally mustered up the courage, I went outside and talked to him. I told him I saw him with a young girl at the mall, and he told me it was his daughter. I gave him the gift certificate and told him I would like it if him and his daughter came and ate together at our restaurant. Then, I got into my van and started crying. The joy in his eyes and the genuine gratitude was the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for. His efforts to spend time with his daughter, despite how difficult his situation may be, made me realize that it’s not what you have, it’s who you have. They don’t have a lot, but they have each other, and that is what makes this Christmas story so beautiful.