The Perfect Christmas Gift
By Genny, age 17, Malta
The 11 year old, also known as Little Vinny Brown, was a jolly kid who always brought joy to every person who ever met him. He had short black hair and deep blue eyes, and everyone in the neighbourhood loved him. He always obeyed his parents. He went to school every day, did all his homework, said please and thank you whenever required, went to church with his family every day, and also helped his little brother and little sister with their homework every night. He was the envy of every parent in the neighbourhood whose kids were all spoiled, unlike Little Vinny Brown.
Little Vinny and his family loved Christmas! Unfortunately for them, they couldn't afford nice Christmas decorations and to have a Christmas tree and buy presents. They had to work extra hard in order to have these things. They were poor, and with his dad losing his job so close to Christmas, Little Vinny knew that this Christmas wasn't going to be like the nice Christmases they'd had before. Yet he was always optimistic not to see his family sad.
A few days before Christmas, when Vinny was on his way back from school, he heard Mrs.Gripling and her sister Mrs.Cornwall talking, and he started eavesdropping.
Mrs.Gripling: I wonder what my husband is getting me for Christmas! He always gives out the bestest and most perfect presents to me and the children!
Mrs.Cornwall: Yes, we all know that, my dear! We are lucky to get such great materialistic presents, unlike the Brown family. Did you hear Mr.Brown got fired?
Mrs.Gripling: Yes, I did! I heard they fired him because the owners of the factory changed and they didn't want such a low class person working for them!
As Vinny heard Mrs. Gripling's last few words, he burst into tears and went running back home. When his mum saw him she immediately knew something was really wrong, because Vinny rarely cried or seemed sad. When she asked him what was the matter, he told her what he had heard and that he and his family were the unluckiest family in the whole village. After hearing this story, his mum tried to cheer him up. She told him that if he really wanted to give his family a gift he could do something from the heart.
Vinny said nothing, but that night he lay in bed thinking about his mother's words, what they meant, and what he could do to see his family and friends happy this Christmas like they'd always been. The next morning being Christmas Eve, the school was closed, and Vinny woke up early to get a head start on what he was planning to do. He worked hard all day, and when night came he and his family headed to the village square, where each year all the village people would gather and sing Christmas carols and dance around the big village tree in the middle of the square.
There were bright lights everywhere, as young children dressed in their Sunday best and sang songs of joy, while others danced to the melody of their singing. A few moments before the clock struck midnight, as the mayor and the village priest were about to give their message about Christmas, a little tiny voice singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" caught everyone's attention. It was Little Vinny Brown, and when he'd finished he started speaking, and said:
"I know I am not as rich as half of you here, but I still wanted to share my Christmas happiness with all of you." Then from his pocket he drew out a small box he had made out of scraps of wood he'd found here and there around the village. He continued by saying:
"This box ... I made it with my very own hands. It's not much, I know, but it's what's inside it that has the real meaning."
As he opened the box all the people started gathering around him to see what was in it. To their surprise the box was empty. Some people were angry, whilst others started calling Vinny names, but Vinny did not cry. Instead, he exclaimed:
"I'm surprised how rich people like yourselves can't see what is in this box. Well, I'll tell you what it is then. It's simple. It's love, and I want to set it free from this box so it can reach your hearts and bring you joy this Christmas!"
Hearing these words, everyone started shedding a tear or two, as their hearts were touched by Little Vinny's words. Earlier that week, Vinny had thought that Christmas would not be the same for him and his family, as his dad had lost his job, and he was right about this, because the next morning, Christmas day, he and his family were invited to lunch in the Gripling household!
That year Vinny had the best Christmas ever, as he had shared it with everyone, including his loving family. You see, that day he learned that the joy of Christmas isn't found in gifts. Christmas is not about material things and presents. It's not all about the fancy food and decorations that people put up in their homes. It's about joy and happiness, to be able to laugh and cheer with your friends and family, to be able to forgive and forget. But most of all it's about what's in your heart. Christmas is all about love! :)