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A “New” Book for Christmas





Title – A “New” Book for Christmas
By – Sandra

It was nearing Christmas during my first semester teaching at a new post. I loved my small self-contained special needs class more than any group I’d taught in the past. They were hungry for knowledge and I was enjoying teaching.

My fellow teachers had taken the precaution of telling me that our children were in dire financial situations, something I already knew, and not to expect any child to bring a Christmas gift. Naturally, I wasn’t expecting any gifts, but I listened to my fellow teachers and valued what they had said.

Imagine my surprise when every child brought me a gift on the day before our holiday break! First, I unwrapped a well-loved stuffed monkey from a hand colored paper bag gift wrap. I was told “He’s my favorite, but I love you and I want him to be with you.” This was from a child who had terrible conduct problems! But I had loved him through thick and thin so oh, how my heart fluttered at the flattery.

Next, I unwrapped a McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy. I got a Slinky. It was followed by a pecan log, a candle, a child’s pencil set, little girl’s sparkle finger nail polish and a dish towel that had clearly seen better days. Next, came a brand new set of Christmas tree lights that turned out to be “missing” from a mother’s supply!

Finally, I came to one little boy’s contribution to the best set of gifts I’d ever received. It was square and flat and wrapped in tissue paper. I gingerly pulled the tape loose to uncover a well-worn, dirty, cracked Christmas story book. Expressions of my happiness were interrupted by the giver’s comment, “And see, it is new!” He pointed to the faded price marker, “It still has the price tag.”

As other children teased him, I interrupted the little group and said, “Oh, books are good in that way. The story is always new if you have not read it before.”

Everyone listened as I read the most wonderful Christmas story of my life, after having lived the most wonderful Christmas story of my life. I still can’t believe that most of my students gave me their own toys for Christmas. My heart is overjoyed each time I think of that day.

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