Benjamin was getting anxious. He knew Christmas was coming sometime soon, but at his house, it wasn't starting yet.
Usually, his mom had put out lots of sparkly stuff like elves and snowmen and angels, even before she put up the Christmas tree. Usually, by now there were bags of presents for him, hiding high up in the hall closet. Usually, music was playing, songs about baby Jesus and the angles, songs about snowmen, reindeers, and bells jingling. But, nothing Christmasy was happening at his house.
Now, that he thought about it some more, Benjamin was worried. His mom was a smiley lady, but she hadn't been smiling much lately.
“What was happening?" Benjamin wondered. He decided to ask his friend Noah if anything was wrong at his house.
Noah and Benjamin were waiting for their turn on the big yellow slide when Benjamin asked Noah the question.
Noah scrunched up his face to think. "No," he said happily, “There’s a Christmas tree in the great room with presents under it for me!"
Benjamin thought about this the rest of the day. He thought about it all the way home from school. He thought about it as he put away his coat and boots in the mudroom. He thought about it as he ate his afternoon snack.
Benjamin decided it was time to have a talk with his mom. He dunked a graham cracker in his glass of milk, and asked the question.
“Mom, what’s happened to our Christmas?” Benjamin asked.
Benjamin’s mom started to cry. Now Benjamin was really scared because his mom hardly ever cried.
Benjamin remembered that one time she did cry when he got into a fight at school. But Benjamin knew that he had been good lately because, well because it was Christmastime.
Benjamin's mom finally answered, "At the end of the week, your dad will be laid off. I don’t know about Christmas right now."
Benjamin thought about this while he played with his dinosaurs. He thought about it while he ate his dinner. He thought about it while he was taking his bath. He even thought about it while his mom was reading him a story.
As Benjamin climbed under his bright blue dinosaur comforter, he asked, "Mom, what does laid off mean?"
"Well, Benjamin, it means your dad's company doesn't have enough work for him to do right now. You shouldn't worry about this, honey, we have enough money for food and things we need. We just have to be careful about buying extra things, like Christmas presents."
"Ooooh," said Benjamin thoughtfully, "maybe we should ask Jesus to help us."
"That is a good idea," said Benjamin's mom. So she prayed and asked Jesus to help their family.
Benjamin added, "And please, Jesus, help us to get a Christmas."
The next day at school, Benjamin told Noah about the talk with his mom.
That night, Noah told his mom about the unhappy problem at Benjamin's house. Noah's mom knew what to do. The next morning she called her friend Sarah to talk about her idea.
On Saturday, Benjamin was eating lunch with dad when the doorbell rang. Benjamin ran alongside as his dad went to answer it. His dad opened their huge red door, and found Pastor Mike and his wife Sarah standing on the porch. Between them was great big Christmas tree.
Behind them were lots and lots of people that Benjamin knew from church holding bags and boxes.
Pastor Mike said, "These are for you. We wanted to help your family through this tough time, so we gathered up some things for you. Can we bring them in?"
Benjamin's dad looked surprised and uncomfortable. Benjamin pulled on his dad’s shirt and said "Jesus brought us Christmas, just like I asked him to!"
Then Benjamin's dad stood aside to let everyone come into the house with their gifts of love. The very last person to come in was Noah.
Noah handed Benjamin a box wrapped in Christmas paper.
Then Noah whispered in Benjamin's ear, "My mom said I could bring one of my presents to give you so you wouldn’t miss Christmas."
Benjamin leaned up next to his dad and smiled a really