I found her sitting in front of the Christmas tree,
colored lights sparkling in her tears.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Have you finished shopping for me yet?"
so she asked me not to buy her anything else.
Was this guilt talking?
Had she done something wrong?
A second question came in a quivering voice.
"Can we give the money
you were going to spend on me
to the homeless?"
Immediately her tears made sense.
Here we were,
with all of this
while some people,
right here in our city,
didn't even own a coat.
Letting my own tears reflect those of my little girl's
I reached for my checkbook.
True joy was not found in the wrapped presents that year.
Rather it was nestled in the bare spots
underneath the tree.
-- Hana Haatainen Caye