Hey story fanatics! I know, I know, I haven’t been updating for over a month! I am sincerely sorry for leaving you guys like that and trust me, it pains me to not be able to write and update more stories for you all. Geez, teachers just never seem to give you breaks… Anyway, this is a short Christmas story I decided to write, and hopefully, if I have time I’ll be able to write another one. Anyway, enjoy this story and have a wonderful day guys! Remember, just go where your imagination takes you and new worlds will reveal themselves. Love you all!
A Great Gift, A Greater Love
The leaves rustled on the trees as a cold breeze swept through the lonely neighborhood. Six year old Anna, bundled up in her coat and boots, kicked the leaves littered on the ground every step of the way, all while gripping her mother’s hand.
“Mommy, mommy look! The leaves are all falling off the trees! Why is that?”
“Well, the seasons are changing honey, winter is coming,” Lauren said as she gazed down at her cheerful daughter.
It was the beginning of December, indicated by the falling of the leaves on the trees, along with the dangling hand-drawn calendar by their bed. Lauren had fallen on hard times after her ex-husband had left her after falling for a single woman he saw at their church. His gambling problems had racked in a load of debt and when he left, Lauren was left to pay them off. It had taken almost everything, and when it was over, she was left with just enough to purchase a small rent house where they could live. Suddenly, the sound of ringing bells disrupted Lauren’s thoughts.
“Mommy, do you hear that sound,” Anna whispered, so softly that Lauren had to bend down to hear the rest of her sentence. Her big brown eyes gazed up at Lauren as she asked, “Can we go to it pretty please?”
Lauren herself was mystified by the sound, as though it offered something magical and her daughter certainly deserved something magical at this time. Without a word, she scooped Anna up into her arms and started running towards the source of the ringing bells. They got louder and louder, and soon, Lauren came to face an extraordinary view as she stopped at the St. Lawrence Park. All around, people were bustling about, holding presents and bags with toys that peeked out ever so slightly. There were even multiple Santas ringing big brass bells, the most logical sources to the sound that the two heard a distance away.
“HOHOHO Merry Christmas you two!”
Lauren gasped, her hand instinctively tightening around Anna’s as she looked up to see a Santa Claus standing in front of her.
“Hi Santa! My name is Anna and I’m 6 years old! Did you put me on the naughty or nice list?”
As Anna was introducing herself, Lauren led her up to the man clad in a red suit, with a white beard surrounding his face, in which he made it seem effortlessly comfortable.
“Well,” the Santa replied, bending down to meet her at eye level, “did you have good manners this year? Did you listen to your mommy here?”
“Of course Santa! I was very good this year. I even helped my mommy draw our calendar this month. Maybe I could draw one for you and send it up into the North Pole one day!”
“HOHOHO! I would appreciate that very much Miss Anna. Now, be sure to enjoy the toys around here you two.”
The Santa Claus proceeded to stroll around, as he greeted other families, while Lauren led Anna through the park, being sure to keep her close. It took time for her to maneuver through the crowd, since it was incredibly crowded. Dozens of toy displays were set up, with the ooh’s and ahh’s the children echoing throughout the park. Suddenly, Lauren felt a hard tug at her hand, almost causing her to topple over. She was just about to yell “Anna,” but as she looked down, she could tell that her daughter was extremely fixated onto something, in which she was able to find out what it was a few moments later as they paused in front of one of the displays. In front of her, was a massive Minecraft Lego display, where all of the kids were frantically pushing each other around to get a chance to play it and to touch the pieces.
“Mom, those are Minecraft Legos like the ones on TV… Do you think we can have one?”
“I don’t know honey, those seem pretty expensive, but let me ask. Excuse me ma’am,” Lauren said, as she placed a hand on the shoulder of one of the people gathered around the display with an ID. “Do you know how much this toy costs?”
“It’s about $100 ma’am. Would you like to purchase one?”
“Uh, no. Not now, thank you.”
Lauren led Anna away from the overwhelming crowd, glad to be able to have some sort of space to breathe. She sincerely didn’t want to bend down and face her daughter, whose eyes were already welling up with tears, but she didn’t have a choice.
“Anna,” she whispered, bending down to meet her daughter in the eyes. “I’m sorry, but we just can’t get the Minecraft Lego Set. It’s too expensive and you know mommy is trying to save up money for some new boots.”
“I understand mommy. I promise I’m not sad because I know you deserve new boots.”
Just as Lauren was about to utter her next words, a cry was heard screaming, “Lauren!” She turned around to see Saye, her best friend, rushing towards her and with a blink, had her arms wrapped around her.
“It’s so good to see you and Anna here! Geez, here I am just trying to shop for presents for my nieces and nephews and I’m met with this crowd full of pushy people. You just can’t take a break around here can you? Wait, what’s up, why is Anna crying?”
“It’s about a toy she wanted, but I can’t seem to afford it…”
“Hey it’s okay Anna,” Saye said softly, brushing back stray strands of Anna’s back. “Christmas isn’t just about gifts, it’s about spreading happiness. Now come on, let me see your smile.”
Almost immediately, Anna’s signature smile beamed from her face as her loss of the toy seemed to be forgotten.
“You’re right Miss Saye,” Anna said wiping away the rest of her tears. “Christmas is about making people happy and I want to make mommy happy by having her save her money to buy her new boots that she wants.”
Lauren’s heart swelled with joy at her daughter’s selflessness and a pang of sadness seemed to seep into her heart, slowly spreading. Her daughter, who had to suffer through such major changes in her life, never truly having anything, was being selfless for her. Although Lauren had tried her best to give Anna what she wanted, she always knew it wasn’t enough as her daughter struggled to have enough crayons and paper to draw pictures, or books to read. Perhaps, this could be her chance to allow Anna to have something that would make her truly happy.
“Saye, can you take Anna home please? You know where I live don’t you? Do you still have the key to the house on you?”
“Sure, I’ll bring Anna home. And of course I have the key on me. I use it to break into your house once a month, so it’s obviously vitally important to me.” The last sentence left Saye’s mouth as she bore a cheeky smile, gently nudging Lauren.
As soon they left and Anna’s pigtails had disappeared from Lauren’s sight completely, did Lauren rush back to the display with the Minecraft Lego Set. If our daughter could be selfless, she would be too, and she didn’t hesitate to flag down a person working there to purchase the toy from. The moment she had finally placed the last dollar into their hands, a rush of relief washed over her as she held the giant present box against her chest.
Christmas soon came and it was a miracle Lauren had managed to keep the gift out of view from her daughter in their severely cramped home. She didn’t sleep a wink, staying up all night to assemble the display for Anna to be able to wake up to the present of her dreams. As the sound of pattering feet came rushing towards her, Lauren braced herself.
“MOMMY IT’S CHRISTMAS!”
The moment Anna came into her view, she immediately paused, her eyes widening and her mouth in the shape of an “o.” She approached the set-up gingerly, reaching an arm out to touch it and then retreating it back almost instantly as if she was scared it was a dream. Another touch and a grasp was all it took for her to rush into Lauren and burst out crying.
“Mommy, you didn’t have to, but thank you! You’re the best mommy ever! One day, I’ll make this up to you! I’ll never forget this forever and ever!”
As those words sunk in, Lauren found herself crying as well. She hugged Anna with the intensity of a bear.
“My sweet daughter, all I ask of you is for you to work hard. Study as hard as you can and make me proud. Remember, I’ll always love you with all my heart.”
The two remained in each other’s arms until their stomachs growled, in which they broke away giggling as Lauren stood up to cook breakfast while Anna played with her new present.
Anna stood over her mother’s grave, an umbrella held over her head by her personal assistant as it shielded her from the intense rays of the sun. In her hands, she held a Lego character piece, presenting it to the grave as she kneeled down.
“Mom, you were the light of my life. You always knew how to make me happy and you pushed me to do my best every time. I promised you I wouldn’t forget this moment, and I never have. You showed the most love and selflessness out of everybody that Christmas day. Despite having nothing, you went out of your way to give me something. I remembered you would rarely go out since you didn’t want your feet to be terribly cold, considering you only had a pair of sneakers after you couldn’t afford the boots you wanted. Thank you mom for everything, and I hope you appreciate the things I’ve given you. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Once she set down the Lego character piece onto her mother’s grave, she rose up. A few tears had managed to escape again, as if she hadn’t cried enough. Straightening herself once more, she gave a final look at the tombstone.
In Loving Memory Of
(1941 – 2016)
A Beloved Mother And Best Friend To All
May Her Love Never Be Forgotten