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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas miracle that wasn't

On Christmas Eve, Annie and I were on our way to Midnight Mass (Robbie spent the day throwing up, so Mike and I split up for church). We had to stop at Walgreen's for a few last minute items -- it was crazy crowded! Anyway, back to my story.

As we left the store, we ran to the car to avoid as much as possible getting wet from the rain that was washing our white Christmas away. I opened the driver's side door and looked down. It quite dark, but I saw what looked like money on the ground. I reached down and picked up what was indeed a bill.

I got in the car, unfolded the bill and saw this:

$1M bill

A $1 MILLION bill!

My heart beat a few paces quicker, wondering who could have dropped it? A drug dealer? A little old lady who kept her life savings in her purse? Someone from the infamous Indianapolis mafia?

Annie was beside herself excited. "OMG, Mom! What are we going to do with that?!"

That's when I came to my senses a bit. I pulled out my trusty iPhone, handed it to Annie and asked her to text ChaCha to see if a $1 million bill even exists.

"And if it is real, we are going to the nearest police station and turning this in," I informed her, all the while spending the reward money in my head. Surely the reward for finding $1 million would be at least $10,000.

While we waited for the good folks at ChaCha to respond, it occurred to me that I don't even know where the nearest police station actually is.

Alas, turns out there was no need for a trip to the police station. ChaCha quickly returned a seemingly canned answer that in fact, $1 million bills are not printed by the U.S. Treasury department. (For some pretty interesting facts about U.S. currency, click here.)

And so, there went my Christmas miracle of finding $1 million. Gone was the certainty of media interviews, of thanks from either the rightful owner of the bill or the police who were glad to have it out of the hands of hardened, money-laundering criminals. And still sitting there waiting for me at home would be the bills that would not be paid off with any grateful reward money.

No longer afraid to handle the soaking wet bill for fear that it would tear and I would have instantly lost $1 million, I picked up the worthless paper and looked at it more closely. The back side referred to the "million dollar question," something about going to heaven when you die.

While I was mildly irritated by the deception for evangelical purposes, the fact that the bill turned out to be phony was probably a good thing. Can you imagine how distracted I would have been at Midnight Mass knowing I had $1 million in my purse? Instead, I was still Christmas Eve-poor, but rich in the reminder that Christmas is not about stocking stuffers and wish lists, but about the gift of God's own son.

I hope your Christmas was truly blessed.

7 comments:

Eternal Lizdom said...

What a crazy crazy thing to have happen!!! Wow!!

Shelley said...

You mean that fake bill was a BIBLE TRACT??!!

Off-putting stuff like that always makes me so glad to know that the Catholic Church does NOT believe that the end justifies the means.

Geeeesh!!!!

I just told B about this and he said someone left them in the men's restroom at the dealership -- obviously a client. The manager had one of the women go in and scout out the ladies' room and they were in there, too. :>(

Rebecca Jo said...

you have to give it to the people who made it that it looked real though... kinda a weird way to reach out to people though...

Erin M. said...

How funny! My thought was exactly yours as I was reading this....How were you EVER going to pay attention in church with this "thing" sitting in your purse?!??!

Sharon Boller said...

Hey - it was a miracle. You got a GREAT story to share when you probably had NOTHING to write about until the $1,000,000 bill appeared.

sara's art house said...

That is hilarious! Wish it was real :) :)

Mrs4444 said...

Sweet post. You're right. That said, a thousand bucks would have been really nice...