CHRISTMAS FEATURE – Our children were 11, 7, and 3, and our dog, Toby, had been sick for several weeks.
On Dec. 23, 1999, Toby was diagnosed with Valley Fever, a fungi attached to the lungs, and our vet gave us three alternatives: Give him medication for a minimum of 6 months, at $100 per week; just watch and see what happens; or, have him put to sleep.
That night, we sat down as a family and discussed all of the options, outcomes, and what to do. Our kids immediately said: “We need to fast and pray to know what to do.” And so that is what we did, all Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning as we opened gifts, the attention was mostly on Toby. As it came time to open the gifts from my in-laws, which are generally something silly from QVC, our 7-year-old, Brady, opened his gift first. He pulled out a $100 bill and exclaimed, “Ye of little faith. I told you if we asked we would get an answer. Now let’s get Toby his medicine.”
The day after Christmas, our kids came to my husband and me and told us that they had decided they wanted to take ALL of their Christmas back. They had calculated how much money it would cost for Toby’s medicine and wanted to help. We of course said, “No, we will be ok,” but after discussing it further with my husband, we decided we could never teach them a better lesson of sacrifice, charity, or Christmas, and the next day, we took our kids to each store as they returned their gifts and collected the money.
At each doctor visit and prescription refill, the kids pitched together their money. Toby was on the medicine for a year, and he lived 9 more full years.
Our kids came to us on different occasions and said: “I am so GLAD we took our stuff back so Toby could get better.” It is a Christmas none of us will forget.
Christmas doesn’t get better than that.
Submitted by: Dawn Knotts
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