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The Perfect Gift

December 24, 2018

 A Christmas short story written by THYME and Play Operations Manager, Magali Rivera.



Two little girls cuddled together on a cold winter’s night.  They spoke of snowflakes, candy canes, presents, and a wonderful dinner.  It was the 24th of December and they were excited, although in their home, Christmas seemed to have skipped them altogether. 


Mama was asleep, tissue in hand as she fought off the cold she had picked up at work.  The corner where the Christmas tree should have been was empty and there were no wrapped gifts to be found.  In years past their Mother had made sure the spirit of Christmas filled their house, but this year had been so hard.  When she got sick, she could not work and no work meant no extra money.  


The sisters tried to cheer up mama but the sadness permeated every inch of their home, and it seemed as if Christmas would soon end without paying their family a visit.  


“This will not be!” said one sister to the other.  “Mama always made Christmas for us, we must make Christmas for Mama.” Together they came up with a plan.  Taking their coats and boots they snuck outside determined to transform their home into a happy one.


Some time later the sisters returned with tinsel, a tree branch, some paint, newspapers, and other miscellaneous things their neighbors had left outside.  For the next few hours they worked merrily as they wrapped up discarded toys and old jewelry in newspaper, and used some of mamas old lipstick to initial each treasured gift.  They took careful steps not to notice too much what each gave the other; after all it should be a surprise.  They came at last to one special gift, a beautiful brooch covered in emeralds rubies and diamonds, yet missing one stone.  This was a gift for their Mama.  Perfect with a small empty spot reminding them of their precious Mama who too had an empty spot on her heart where her joy had been. 


With love and care the sisters wrapped the brooch the best they knew how and using the lipstick once more they wrote, “to mama, the best mama in the world”.  Finally they used the only small piece of ribbon they could find to complete the gift with a bow.   The younger sister then turned her attention to the tree branch they found outside and, with paint and tinsel, made it festive and bright.  Meanwhile the older sister went to work in the kitchen. She found only one box of spaghetti and a bottle of ketchup, but it was all she needed to create their Christmas eve dinner.  


Once the meal was ready and the house was decorated they sang in soft voices , “We wish you a Merry Christmas.  We wish you a Merry Christmas…” until their mother awakened.  Seeing all that had been prepared Mama’s eyes glistened with tears as a smile struggled it’s way across her face.  Laughing together the family sat to enjoy a very different Christmas dinner.


Suddenly, there was a  knock at the door.  As they opened the door they were surprised to find all of their neighbors outside holding a tree, presents, and a wonderful Christmas dinner.  Their neighbors never mentioned how they had watched the sisters rummage through their discarded things.  Instead they sang, they danced, and they celebrated with joy the true meaning of Christmas. 





Merry Christmas Everyone and thank you for sharing my favorite Christmas memory.

- Maggie   

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