The Stowaway Snowman is a true story about one of our customers’ experiences during Christmas of 2015.
The Tale of 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 with questions they have about our company and our products. Starting around the second week of November, the phones were ringing off the hook. Everyone wanted a stuffed animal for Christmas. It became a challenge to catch my breath after helping one customer in time to help another. At times, I felt a little overwhelmed and wasn’t exactly embracing the Holiday spirit. Then I received a call from Patty.
Patty’s Stowaway Snowman
Patty called because she placed an order with us and received her package with something unexpected. Her box had slight damaged as though it was forcefully opened. At first, I thought she received an empty box and that her plush toy was stolen. Instead, she told me that she received the product she ordered from us, but also something she didn’t order. There was a little plastic snowman in the box. Struck by the peculiarity of the situation, Patty called us to see if we put the snowman in her package. I assured her that was not the case. We don’t sell any plastic toys, only stuffed animals.
Her investigation continued. Eventually, she discovered the little snowman had postage of its own. It was for a patient in a hospital. In what some would call serendipity, but others might call a Christmas miracle, the hospital was 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. She said, “No, Caleb. I think we were supposed to get this snowman in the mail. I also think we were supposed to visit the intended recipient. My husband and I are going in person to take it to her.”
A Happy Ending
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 woman in the hospital. 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 stowaway snowman meant for a patient in a hospital found its way into a Stuffed Safari customer’s package. 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 will never know how that little plastic snowman found its way into Patty’s package. We can learn the importance of charity, generosity, and good will from her example.