Priceless Gifts

Kristin closed and locked the door to her gift shop and tightened her scarf when she realized the temperature had dropped precipitously since she ran out at noon to get lunch for her staff. She had intended to just run to her car, drive home, pour a huge glass of Pinot Noir and settle down for the evening with her new book. However, the moment it took to pause and tie her scarf she made the mistake of looking down the street.

“Oh no.” She sighed and tucked her keys back in her purse and fished out her gloves. “That damn Christmas Market.”

Kristin was not a big fan of Christmas since she lived so far from family, had no husband or kids of her own, and Christmas was a retail nightmare. She was not particularly outgoing except as needed in her store, and yet she knew she had to go put in an appearance at the Market. It was the prudent thing to do as a business owner.

Sighing again, she threw her purse over her shoulder and promised herself that she would only stay ten minutes and POSITIVELY would spend no money on geegaws, and set off to the Market. It was cold but clear and starry and actually a great night for a winter stroll.

She hit the town square, waving to people and stopping every once in a while to,check out the booths just to be neighborly and maybe drum up some business. She had already turned down a gingerbread man, a personalized duck ornament and a hand woven scarf when she stopped dead in front of a stall selling jewelry. The golden brooch was prominently displayed on a stand, and Kristin could not take her eyes off it. She recognized the silhouette carved on the brooch. She had stared at that silhouette almost every day of her childhood.

“Mom.” She mumbled it under her breath.

“Why hello there, young lady. Can I interest you in the pretty piece?” The man in front of her was probably in his 60’s and sported a lovely snow white beard and a jaunty Santa cap. He took the brooch off the display and handed it to her. “Take a closer look. I made that myself and I must say it’s one of my favorites. Truth be told, you look a bit like my model.”

Kristin could only stare at the beautiful piece in her hand.

“How much?” She heard herself say the words before she could stop it.

He looked at her intently. “It is priceless, you know.”

“Well then I can’t....”

“But for you I will set a price you cannot refuse. You must wear it and love it. You know who that is, don’t you?”

Kristin teared up and mutely nodded.

“Give it here.”

The man took the brooch from her and pinned it on her red coat and then simply patted her cheek. “Go along then, Kristin. God bless.”

Kristin turned began to walk to her car, fingering the brooch as she went and overcome with lovely memories. She turned back to wave at the man but when she looked she could find no sign of his stall. Nothing was there at all. Just nothing.

Comments 0