Standing in the shopping mall, black and blue from being pushed and shoved, I try to check the Christmas list my family had given me the last few days.

Tony wants about 10 things he had seen on TV or found in the newspaper. Larry only wants it if it's a name brand because it doesn't look cool if it's not.

Jeremy said "Anything's fine dad, as long as it cost over $100."

Finally after getting a karate chop to the head I decide to take my two packages home and try again tomorrow, hoping the crowd would thin and save my body from further abuse.

Walking out the store my eyes travel up and down the street looking for the quickest exit, when my gaze falls upon a small beggar boy standing on the corner in the wet cold snow. Filled with the holiday spirit my heart tells me to help, but my mind says that my Christmas list is still very large. As I walk past the little beggar boy, he turns and looks into my face with a hopeless expression of the lost happiness in his life.

"It's not your problem," my mind tells me as I continue on my way.

Darkness claims its share of the day as I sit in my warm home unable to forget the look on the little boy's face. Finally I decided to take a walk and hoped I could forget what I had seen today. As I walked along the street beside the buildings reaching into the sky I came upon a alley dark and cold. Drawn into the darkness I came upon a sight that will forever be etched into my memory.

Scores upon scores of cardboard houses occupied by the less fortunate people of the city. Looking left and right I see the same look I had seen in the face of the little beggar boy.

Overcome by such a sad sight I retreat back to the safety of my home.

The morning of Christmas Eve dawns, bringing even myself a tingling of anticipation of things to come. I rise determined to get all my shopping done early so I could rest for the evening.

Walking down the street I spy the little beggar boy standing on the same corner as he did yesterday. I stop for a moment and watched the crowd walk by him without even as much as a glance, my heart is saddened again.

"There is nothing I can do about it," I tell myself as I stride into the store to finish up my list before it becomes too late.

As I wrapped the last package and put it under the tree, tiredness overcame me because of the things I'd seen the last few days. With the children safely in bed my mind wandered back to the little beggar boy and the sadness of yet another Christmas missed.

Determined to do something, I picked up one of the packages from under the tree and started walking to the alley in the city. As I searched the alley I finally spotted the little beggar boy sitting outside his box trying to stay warm. Walking up to the child I saw a smile appear on his face as I handed him the package.

Tears came to my eyes as I stood and watched the little beggar boy carry the present over to another child and hand it to him.

Then for a brief moment a bright light appeared and a deep voice said: "This is the true meaning of Christmas."

Fortunate are the few who in their life see such a glorious sight.