When I was leaving the store earlier this week, I paused to visit with an older gentleman who was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army donation bucket. A small boy dropped some pennies into the bucket, then handed me a paper snowflake he had made.
"Thank you so much," I told the boy. "What a kind thing you are doing to give both your money and a snowflake to help other children."
"My mom gave me the money, but I made the snowflake," he said softly. "Do you think some kid would like to have it?"
I smiled at his "widow's mite" and nodded. "Very much. Snowflakes make everything better, don't you think?"
He agreed and reached into his pocket. Sprinkles of glitter fluttered around us like a snowfall in a rainbow of colors as he pulled out a stack of paper snowflakes. "Would these help, too?"
I glanced up and noticed tears in the eyes of the old gentleman still faithfully ringing the bell. I looked back into the bright hopeful eyes of the young boy. With my hands full of paper snowflakes I began to sing, "Away in a Manger."
The little boy began to sing along. The older gentleman began to sing along. Then an elderly woman waiting with her cart for a ride began to sing along. In moments, a crowd of strangers was smiling and singing Christmas carols one after the other.
One small boy believed a paper snowflake could change his world...and it did.