It was Ian’s routine to stop by his grandpa’s house every morning on his way to high school. When Christmas break began, Ian continued his visits.
On the Friday before Christmas Ian showed up with a gift. “It’s a scratch ticket.”
“You shouldn’t have. You need to save for college,” said his grandpa.
“That would explain all the specials on TV.”
Ian watched intently as his grandpa scratched the ticket.
“The big prize is a million dollars,” said Ian.
“Hm.” His grandpa cleared the scrapings off the ticket and looked closely at the numbers. He held it up and looked again.
“I think we won.”
Ian beamed. “You won? You won! How much?”
Ian’s grandpa tilted his head. “If I read this right, we won the million dollars.” He handed the ticket to his grandson. “Is that right?”
Ian examined the ticket, then gave it back. “It says a million.”
“It’s a million,” said Ian’s grandpa. He giggled. “How about that?”
The two whooped and hollered around the kitchen table.
“How d’you collect the money?” asked Ian.
“Where do I check?”
“Read that part. The ticket stub in your hand, right there,” said Ian.
His grandpa flipped the ticket, slipped on his glasses and read. “To collect your winnings, see yo momma. What?”
Ian erupted in laughter. “I got you grandpa. It’s a fake ticket. You should of seen the look on your face!”
Tears streamed down the old man’s face. Ian stopped laughing.
“Grandpa? It was just a joke. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…”
His grandpa rested a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Yo mamma,” he said. “When I read that, I remembered my mother, your great grandmother. I haven’t thought about her in years. What she gave me was a lot more valuable than a million dollars.”
Tears formed in Ian’s eyes. “So have you, grandpa. I love you,” said Ian. He gave his grandpa a great bear hug, and sobbed.
His grandpa smiled. “Now that’s what I call a Christmas gift.”