Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
TITLE: "The Greatest of All"
By Karen Frantz
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It was a cold, dreary December day. Simon drew the knitted shawl tighter around his thin, boney shoulders and gazed out the frosted window pane.
His attention shifted to his warm, but humble surroundings with a single bed clad with a worn quilt that had been folded neatly below his pillow.
Beside the bed stood an old, small table with spindly legs, perched on top was a skinny, pathetic excuse for a tree. Adorned with tiny, silver balls and a homemade, tinfoil star that set crookedly at the top of the tree.
A smile flickered slightly across Simon’s thin, wrinkled lips. His eyes lowered to the table top that set below the tree. It was bare. No brightly colored Christmas gifts and no big red bows.
Simon’s mind drifted back to the years when his children were small. My, what a festive time they had. A huge fresh, green, pine tree with beautiful colorful balls and bright twinkly lights, shiny silver tinsel glittering all around the dark branches, at the very top of the tree set a beautiful, silver star with the lights reflecting off its surface.
At the bottom of the tree lay neatly wrapped Christmas gifts tied with brightly, colored ribbons. There were so many gifts that they went all around the tree and stacked on top of each other. Simon’s eyes twinkled.
“Whatever happened to those Christmases?” He whispered.
Mary, Simon’s wife had passed away ten years ago. His children had all moved away and Simon was left alone with only memories of brighter, happier Christmas days.
His heart ached for those past, festive Christmases of years gone by.
Simon’s eyes were on the skinny tree again. He spotted something lying beneath its straggly branches. It was a small, plastic nativity scene that was partially hidden beneath a low-hanging limb.
Tears welled up in Simon’s eyes. “Simon, Simon, you old coot, why are you so forlorn?
You have the best of all Christmas gifts.” He thought to himself.
He made his way over to the table and picked up the small nativity set. Simon smiled a big smile as he stared down at the baby lying in the manager. Joy and peace began to flood his heart.
“Thank you, God for the best Christmas gift of all time, your Son.
Simon began humming an old Christmas carol he had learned many, many years past, when someone knocked at his door. He went to the door still humming and when he opened it there stood all of his children with arms full of Christmas gifts.
Oh what a blessing, Simon was overjoyed. It was truly one of the best Christmases he had experienced in a long time. He gently laid the tiny nativity on the table and whispered.
“Thanks, for giving me your best.”
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