The last day of school before the Christmas holidays was finally here. Excitement swept through the third-grade class which was leaving to go to lunch in the cafeteria.
“Kaylee, it’s lunchtime,” Ms. Tyler announced to the only student still sitting at her desk.
“I’m not hungry,” she answered.
“Aren’t you feeling well?” Ms. Tyler asked as she approached.
Kaylee looked down and broke into tears.
“What’s wrong?” Ms. Tyler inquired, giving her a hug.
“It’s almost Christmas and I don’t have a present for my Mom,” Kaylee explained. “We don’t have any money and I wanted to give her something really nice.”
Ms. Tyler sat down beside Kaylee.
“Let me tell you a story about something that happened to me when I was about your age. Our family didn’t have much money either but I was able to save a few pennies here and there. About two weeks before Christmas I opened my piggy bank and took out my savings of three dollars and forty-two cents. I put my money in a small paper bag and stuffed it in my coat pocket. I was excited because we were going to the store and I had just enough money to buy my Mom this beautiful scarf I had seen in one of the store windows.”
“We arrived at the store and parked the car. As I was walking toward the sidewalk I pulled out the paper bag with my three dollars and forty-two cents. The next thing I knew I tripped on a big metal drain next to the curb and dropped the paper bag. Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters all scattered down the drain. I was heartbroken.”
“Mom had told me Christmas that year would be without many gifts,” Ms. Tyler said with sadness in her voice. “She didn’t have any extra money to give me to buy presents.”
“That’s what my Mom told me yesterday too,” Kaylee sympathized.
“I was feeling so disappointed,” Ms. Tyler confessed. “There was no way I was going to be able to buy her that pretty scarf, or anything else for that matter.”
“So you didn’t get her a present?” Kaylee asked.
“Without money I couldn’t buy anything,” Ms. Tyler sighed. “The next day at school I was worried, disappointed, and sad all at the same time. I just didn’t know what I was going to do.”
“That’s how I feel now,” Kaylee agreed.
“At school recess that day, I was going to go outside when I noticed a friend handing my teacher a Christmas card,” Ms. Tyler continued. “That’s it! I would make Mom a Christmas card. I asked my teacher if I could borrow some construction paper for my card project. She gave me a red sheet and a green sheet. I cut out a green Christmas tree, red ornaments, and the letters M-O-M. I folded a piece of white notebook paper in half, glued the pieces on the paper, and wrote ‘I Love You’ to go with the M-O-M letters.”
“Cool,” Kaylee beamed.
“You know what the best part of all was?” Ms. Tyler quizzed.
“No, what?” Kaylee asked.
“I visited my Mom’s house for Christmas last year. Other presents she had received over the years had worn out, broke, or were no longer needed. The one present she still had, after all these many years, was that Christmas card. It was just as special as the day I made it.”
“Wow,” Kaylee smiled.
After a few moments, Kaylee looked up at her teacher with something very important on her mind.
“Ms. Tyler, have you got some paper I could borrow?”