I Just Want One Thing for Christmas

Only God knew how that box has been the lifeline for so many.

Sunday services were now over; the old church house had grown quiet. Parson McDaniels made his way to the foyer of the sanctuary to a little wooden table near the entrance. It was his custom and that of the church to place a box there for the purpose of helping people stay in touch. It was decorated in wrapping paper, had a slit in the top and simply called, "The Christmas Card Box." The pastor often referred to it as "The paper life line" since it was the means for so many to communicate, especially during Christmas.

Pulling up a stool, the pastor removed the lid and gazed inside at all the different cards and letters. "What unknown secrets, needs or treasures will I find in you tonight," he thought. Reaching inside he began his expedition into the box that contained so much more than cards and letters.

Most of the letters and cards had been addressed to members of his little flock, so he sorted them alphabetically then placed a rubber band around each stack.

When he picked up the last small batch, his eyes fell upon a crinkled, slightly soiled letter addressed: To God, underneath it read "Heaven." The unmistakable handwriting revealed this one had been labeled by a child.

Putting the other cards and letters down, he proceeded to inspect the soiled letter. He turned it over and found that it wasn't sealed. He paused for a few seconds, sensing in his spirit that he should read it. He whispered a little prayer, and then proceeded to open the letter.

The letter read:

Dear God,

I know that you must be very busy
and have lots to do on Christmas. I
wanted to write to you, I hope you
don't mind.

Preacher told us that if we wanted
a letter mailed could not afford to
mail it that he would see to it that
it gets where its s'posed to go. I
hope this letter gets to you real soon
for I have a great big favor to ask.

I know Christmas is s'posed to be a
happy time and many people ask you
for lots of stuff. But I only want one
thing for Christmas. If I could have
it, I would be the happiest boy in the

I have behaved all right, I guess. I
have done mostly all my chores. I have
tried to do good in school. I have not
got in trouble 'cept when a mean boy
named Frank picked on me. I hit him
when he laughed at me when I wore my
daddy's hat to school. I did get into
trouble and I am sorry for that. If
I have not been to bad I wish you
would give me this one thing-that is all.

God, Mommy cries a lot and is very sad.
I think it is because my Daddy has been
gone away for a long time. He went away
to help people in some other part of the
world. Mommy says he is in the war and
don't know when he will be home.

Dear God, this is the third Christmas
that he has missed. I don't know for sure
if you can do it. The preacher says you
can do anything. I think you can to.

Dear God I only am asking for one thing.
Will you please bring my daddy home for

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

signed Your best friend,


The heaviness of this request broke Pastor McDaniel’s heart. Stopping for a brief moment, he bowed his head whispered a prayer for this little boy, his mom. He removed his glasses, wiping his eyes as he thought of the many little boys and girls just like Dawson. Children who had been separated from a parent due to the demands of this thing called "war."

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