Timmy, Jane and Michael excitedly hung up the decorations on the beautiful Christmas tree. Eight-year-old Timmy, especially, was very excited. This year, he gets to hang up his own bauble on the tree.
Each family member had received an expensive bauble from rich Aunt Grace. Not only was the bauble expensive but was also engraved with their names and every new member of Aunt Grace’s family, whether by birth or marriage, would receive a personalised bauble.
Therefore, everyone was careful with their baubles or they would be the only one without their name on the tree. Aunt Grace visited all her family during Christmas to proudly, admire their baubles and she always visited Timmy’s family on Christmas day.
Now they were ready to hang their baubles up on the tree as the last bit of decorations were finished.
“The tree is beautifully decorated, children!” their parents declared admirably. “I think you three deserve a special drink.” Both mum and dad went off to get them drinks.
“Can I put my bauble on?” Timmy pleaded as both Michael and Jane hogged the tree disallowing Timmy an opportunity to hang up his bauble in the spot he had been eyeing since they started decorating.
“Sure, Timmy,” Jane answered mischievously, “as soon as we’re done!”
Before Timmy knew it, Jane placed her bauble in the spot that he wanted. “Hey, I wanted to put my bauble there!” he pointed to the branch in line with his head.
“Too bad,” Jane chided. “I got there first.”
“But you can reach higher and I can’t,” Timmy cried. “Now where am I going to put mine?”
“Here, I’ll put it on top for you,” Jane offered.
“NO! It’s my bauble!” Timmy stated firmly. “I want to put it on!”
“Here’s a good spot for you to hang yours,” Jane smiled slyly pointing to a branch mostly hidden.”
“Fine, I’ll put it there for now,” Timmy muttered. He was thinking that when they were all sleeping, he would swap places.
Mum and dad returned to the room with something to drink and they all forgot the baubles for now. However, when it was quiet, Timmy sneaked into the room to make the swap. It was dark but he could make out the shiny baubles.
“We’ll see whose bauble gets hidden now,” Timmy whispered as he reached for Jane’s bauble. Unfortunately, as he lifted it off the tree, the bauble slipped and fell to the ground, shattering into a million pieces.
Timmy was terrified and fled to his room. What was he going to do now? For sure, Jane would know it was he. A tiny voice, however, said, ‘nobody knows you were there and your bauble is still in its original spot’.
Timmy was happy that and went to sleep. The next morning, Jane was very unhappy and miserable about her broken bauble.
“I must have put it too close to the edge,” she wailed.
“Serves you right for not letting Timmy have that spot,” Michael stated unsympathetically.
“At first I thought it was Timmy who broke it but his is still in the same spot,” Jane sobbed. “Now I feel doubly bad!” She cried even louder as she went to her room to wallow in her misery. She would be the only one in the family without a bauble.
Mum tried to soothe her but to no avail. “What will Aunt Grace say? The baubles are expensive and she will surely call me a klutz,” Jane cried miserably.
“I’ll speak to Aunt Grace and tell her it was an accident,” mum stated gently. “In fact I’ll call her right now.”
Poor Jane! Timmy was at this stage feeling quite guilty but things were going better than he expected and decided to let things work out. Jane would be miserable this Christmas but then she would feel better next Christmas he was sure. Still he did feel bad for her what with it being Christmas Eve.
It was late evening when they heard mum greeting Aunt Grace. That was a surprise, as they did not expect to see Aunt Grace until tomorrow. Jane was a little afraid that Aunt Grace was there to scold her. All three children were called to greet their aunt.
“Jane, I’ve brought you another bauble for the tree so that you won’t be the only one without one,” Aunt Grace held out the bauble to Jane solemnly.
“Oh thank you, Aunt Grace,” Jane beamed as she accepted the bauble.
“Where are you going to hang it?” Aunt Grace asked.
“Definitely not in the same spot,” Jane smiled as she hung it up higher this time.
“Where’s Timmy’s bauble?” Aunt Grace questioned scanning the tree.
“In here!” Timmy parted the branches revealing his.
“Why is it so hidden?” Aunt Grace asked surprised.
“Jane wouldn’t let me put mine where I could reach it,” Timmy replied pointing to the spot where Jane’s had fallen off.
“Just as well,” Jane defended. “It might have been your bauble that broke. Still, I shouldn’t have been so selfish.” Jane finished humbly. “I’m sorry, Timmy.”
This was too much for Timmy and he confessed to breaking the bauble. Jane was angry and called him names causing Timmy to cry.
“Calm down, Jane!” dad intervened. “As wrong as it was of Timmy to do what he did, you were also not nice to him.”
They wanted to know why Timmy did not own up and he explained that he was afraid to, because the bauble was expensive, and since nobody suspected him and he thought he would get away with it but his conscience got the better of him.
“Children,” Aunt Grace addressed them, kindly, “it is not about the bauble. The baubles are just symbols of how the family grows and that we are still together every year. It is meant to remind us of the love we share which keeps us together. Lying and selfishness will only cause problems in the family. What makes a family strong is the honesty and openness shared between members.”
Both Jane and Timmy were apologetic. They realised how fortunate they were to have each other.
“Christmas too is a symbol,” Aunt Grace continued. “A symbol of how much God loved us that He was prepared to send His only Son to earth as a human being that we might become part of His family. Isn’t that the best, free gift we could ever receive? Merry Christmas everyone!”
Ephesians 1:5: “Long, long ago, He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ (what pleasure He took in planning this!). – The Message
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