"Look at that 10-speed bike.” Emma pointed at the illustration in a Christmas catalog she was glancing through. “I told my mom and dad that’s what I want for Christmas.” She grinned up at her friend, Chloe, who was curling her hair in front of the mirror. “Of course, I gave them a list of all the other things I want for Christmas too, but I made sure they knew the bike is at the top of the list. How about you, Chloe? What did you tell your parents you want for Christmas?”
Chloe hesitated for a moment. “Well, not much. We’re probably not going to be able to spend a lot on Christmas this year. Daddy has been out of work for so long. That’s why my mom has been babysitting and cleaning houses, to help pay the bills.”
“Oh . . .” Emma looked back down at the catalog, but she didn’t say anything more about Christmas, and soon the talk drifted to other things.
The conversation started Chloe thinking though, and after Emma had gone home for dinner, Chloe sat down on her bed and got out her bank. Not much there . . . and she had to make this last. But Christmas was only a few days away. For a moment, her thoughts went to Emma’s joking remark about the list she had given her folks. I wonder what it would be like to give your folks a list, Chloe thought to herself, and especially to expect to get what’s on the list! But I’ll probably never know.
Suddenly, she felt ashamed of herself. She had so many things to be thankful for. She slid off her bed and knelt down, burying her face in the bedspread. “Dear Lord,” Chloe prayed, “thank You for giving me a friend like Emma. Thank You for giving me a warm house to come home to and a good mother and father. Now help me, Jesus, to learn the real meaning of Christmas. Help me not to feel bad if I don’t get lots of presents. I love You so much, Father, and want to thank You for sending Jesus to this earth.”
Quickly the tears trickled down her cheeks. “Oh, thank You, Jesus, for coming to this earth,” cried Chloe. “Thank You for saving me! I do love You, I truly do!”
When Chloe got up from praying, she opened her Bible. She read how the angels came and told the shepherds to go and see the Babe in a manger. In the second chapter of Matthew, she read how the Wise Men traveled so far, bringing their gifts to the young Child Jesus. “What a Christmas present!” thought Chloe. “God has given me Jesus—the very best present I could ever have.”
As she closed her Bible, her thoughts turned to her family. I would love to give something special to my family for Christmas. I can make a nice Christmas card for Mom and Dad and tell them how much I love them. But what about Amber? She is only five years old and she wouldn’t understand if she didn’t get any presents. Suddenly her eyes fell on her beautiful princess doll. Oh, Amber would love to have a doll, and Mom and Dad just don’t have any money to buy one. Maybe I could give her my princess doll.
She picked up the doll and held it in her arms. Just the idea of giving her beautiful doll to her little sister brought tears to her eyes. How could she do it? Then she remembered what she had just read in the Bible: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” God gave His very own Son! How did He feel when Jesus left Heaven? “Thank You, Father,” cried Chloe, “for showing me Your love. Help me to always be loving to others.”
Quickly the days flew by, and soon it was Christmas. Chloe and Amber crept downstairs, both excited because it was Christmas morning. The family gathered around the little tree in their living room.
Chloe handed her mom and dad the big Christmas card she had made for them. They read it out loud together. “It’s the most beautiful Christmas card I’ve ever had!” said her mother. They gave her a big hug and kiss.
Now it was Amber’s turn. Chloe went to the Christmas tree where she had placed the box she had so carefully wrapped for her little sister just the night before. For a moment, there was a big lump in her throat as she thought about what the box contained. Grandpa Williams had given her the princess doll when she had been just six years old. She remembered so well how thrilled she had been on that Christmas so long ago. That doll had been a dream come true! Her beautiful curls, the ruffled layers of pink tulle and lace, her tiny slippers and gloves—she was perfect in every detail.
Now she was giving her doll away. Chloe picked up the box and handed it to her little sister. “This is for you, Amber,” she said, “Merry Christmas!”
Quickly Amber tore open the box. As she pulled off the tissue paper, there was the beautiful princess doll. “Oh,” cried Amber, “Are you really giving me your favorite doll?”
“It’s all yours, Amber,” said Chloe. “Just promise me that you will take good care of her.”
“Oh, I will, I will!” said Amber. “Thank you, Chloe! You’re the best sister in the world!”
Chloe was very happy deep down inside. She felt a warm glow, a feeling she had never had before. She whispered, “Thank You, Jesus. And thank You, God, for sending us Jesus. Merry Christmas to You too!”