Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas at School

    Our little school was planning its Christmas program. It wasn't going to be much of a production. Mostly just singing Christmas carols and reciting poems, and the Christmas story from Luke 2. The fun part would come when we got to exchange gifts.
     Everyone threw their name into one of the boy's hats. Teacher Ruth added her name too, even though every family was expected to give her a nice gift.
     The day of the program arrived. It was a little overwhelming having to stand at the front of the school room while the entire Amish community had gathered to see our performance. The singing went well. I stood uncomfortably with my hands clasped behind my back the entire time, just like Mom had instructed me to. Beside me cousin Emma was playing with her apron, not minding what her hands were doing as we were singing. It looked more comfortable than my position, but somehow I managed to stick to it, and when my turn came I recited a little poem about a snowman.
     Another song or two and then we were free to go back to our seats and it was time to exchange gifts. I had been eyeing the heap of nicely wrapped gifts that were piled on the teacher's desk, secretly hoping that the one huge box would be mine.
     Instead I received a much smaller, lumpy package. It contained an apple shaped candy dish and a paint by number set. I was thrilled with it, and carefully set it on my desk as I watched the rest of the children open their gifts.
    Finally the biggest box was presented to Abe, an eighth grader. He tore the wrapping paper off and opened the box only to find another box inside it. Inside that box was another one. And so it continued until finally he got down to the last one. It contained a simple coloring book.
    Teacher Ruth was rolling with laughter. She was the one who had drawn Abe's name for the gift exchange.
      I was only six, but that didn't stop me from burning with indignation at the injustice of it all. I slipped Abe a pack of smarties as we were leaving for home. Hoping that it would help his school Christmas be a little better.


  1. I enjoy your stories. I would have given him some smarties too! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  2. Just curious about Teacher Ruth. Was she a full-grown adult or a teen who had recently finished school. Did she ever marry and have children of her own?

  3. The prank gift reminds me of the time I received a tiny box of plastic black ants. When opened, they seemed to pop out of the box. Not what I would have ever imagined to receive at a Christmas gift exchange. Prank gifts are really meant for the pleasure of the pranker. They got their money's worth.

    Merry Christmas 2017 to you and yours.

  4. I'm not a person that enjoys pranks either. It seems to me that most of the pranks are more hurtful than funny. It was sweet of you to give Abe the pack of Smarties!

  5. Seems kind of odd for the teacher to do that. But it shows the sweetness of your character that you shared your gift with him.

  6. She seems to have a callus streak also very immature.
    Poor little boy how upsetting especially with her laughing at his expense.

    It was kind of you to share the sweets


    1. sorry that should have been (callous)



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