The Stowaway Snowman is a true story about one of our customers’ experiences during Christmas of 2015.
The Stowaway Snowman
The Holiday Season is busy, especially for those of us who work retail. The closer we get to Christmas, the more people scramble to get last-minute gifts to their friends and loved ones. Amidst the noise, it’s easy to lose track of the Christmas Spirit. But every now and then, life throws something your way to remind you what really matters this time of year.
I work for StuffedSafari.com, an online plush toy retailer, as a customer service representative. Through answering calls and emails, I help customers by answering any questions they might have about our company and our products. Starting around the second week of December, the phones were ringing off the hook. Everyone wanted a stuffed animal for Christmas. It became a challenge just to catch my breath after helping one customer in time to answer the next call. Needless to say, I felt a little overwhelmed and wasn’t exactly in the Holiday spirit…but then I received a call from Patty.
Patty called because she placed an order with us and received her package with something unexpected. Her box was slightly damaged, and appeared to have been forced open when she received it. At first, I thought she was about to tell me that someone had stolen her plush toy, and she received an empty box. Instead, she tells me she received the product she ordered from us, but also something she didn’t order: a little plastic snowman. Struck by the peculiarity of the situation, Patty called us to see if we had perhaps put the snowman in her package. I assured her that was not the case; we don’t even sell plastic toys, only stuffed animals.
As her investigation continued, she discovered the little snowman had postage of its own, and was meant to arrive to a patient in a hospital. In what some would call serendipity, but others might call a Christmas miracle, this hospital is only a 45-minute drive from Patty’s house in Florida, and her husband is a hospital chaplain. I told her she could take the snowman to the Post Office and they would make sure it reached its destination, but she said, “No, Caleb. I think we were supposed to get this snowman in the mail, and I think we were supposed to visit the lady it was meant for. My husband and I are going to take it to her in person.”
So touched by this display of generosity, I did something I normally don’t do, and asked Patty to follow up with us. As a storyteller, this was one ending I didn’t want to miss. Luckily for me, Patty did get back in touch with us to let us know they delivered the little plastic snowman to the lady it was meant for. She was very ill, hooked up to a ventilator, and in far less favorable circumstances than most of us this Holiday season. Patty’s husband prayed with the woman, and gave her some comfort in her difficult time as well as delivered the gift.
What are the odds? Somehow a little plastic snowman meant for a patient in a vent hospital found its way into a package for one of our customers. And not just any customer, but one whose husband is a hospital chaplain! Most people might dismiss this as coincidence, but for me, and the rest of us at StuffedSafari.com, it served as a much-needed reminder that Christmas is about more than buying and receiving gifts. We may never know how that little plastic snowman found its way into Patty’s package, but we can learn from her example the importance of charity, generosity and sharing the love.