The little boy could feel the sun warming his face as he lay there, barely awake. He tried to remember his dream- something about mice. It was so quiet- he couldn’t hear Mommy or Daddy talking. They must be asleep still. He yawned and opened his eyes. There was a big red stocking hanging at the end of his bed.
‘It’s Christmas!’ He shouted, jumping out of bed and snatching the stocking.
It was full of jelly babies- his favourite- and at the bottom of the stocking- right in the toe- a big blue bouncy ball with glitter in it.
‘Cool!’ He held it in his hand and watched as the sunlight streaming through his window made the glitter sparkle.
‘Just like stars.’ He whispered to himself.
Then with a giggle, he threw the ball against the floor, as hard as he could. It bounced right up to the ceiling, and whizzed down to the floor again, then dashed off towards his door, and bounced back to him.
‘Happy Christmas Thomas!’ His mom smiled.
‘Mommy, Santa Claus gave me sweets, and a bouncy ball!’ He told her, delighted.
‘Wow!’ She replied. ‘Should we go downstairs and see if you got any other presents?’
‘Yes please.’ He quickly picked up the ball and ran out of the room, clattering downstairs.
The lounge was dominated by their Christmas tree, which twinkled with lights and tinsel. It was decorated with stars that Thomas and his mom had made out of cardboard and glitter. But the most exciting thing was under the tree- a huge pile of presents.
‘Happy Christmas Thomas,’ smiled his dad, who gave him a hug, ‘should we get to work on opening these?’
‘Yes, I want that big one over there.’ Said the boy, pointing to a bicycle-shaped package that sat by the window.
‘I wonder what it is?’ Said his mom, sitting down on the sofa.
‘I know.’ replied Thomas, ripping the striped paper off as quickly as he could.
It was a red bike, with a horn to toot and everything. They spent ages opening presents. Dad made them a cooked breakfast of sausages, eggs and toast.
Later, they went to church. Thomas held his new bouncy ball in his hand while they sang some songs, and also when the man talked at the front. He didn’t dare bounce it in church, because he would get in trouble, but he imagined how high it would bounce- right up to the ceiling, he was sure.
Afterwards, when all the grown-ups were drinking coffee, Thomas grabbed a mince pie and went to show his best friend James his new ball.
James had been talking to another boy called Tim, but Thomas butted in because James was his friend, not Tim’s.
‘James, look what I got from Santa Claus,’ he boasted.
‘Cool,’ said James. ‘Look at my new car, and I also got a scooter and some puzzles, and comics from my Gran, and lots and lots of sweets.’
‘That’s pretty good.’ replied Thomas. ‘I also got a red bike and some clothes, and a new soccer ball, and I’m seeing my grandparents later, and they always give great presents.’
Thomas didn’t want his friend to think that he got less presents than him.
‘What did you get Tim?’ Asked James, turning to the other boy.
Thomas didn’t usually talk to Tim because he always looked scruffy and couldn’t play soccer.
Tim looked down and mumbled ‘A book and a bag of sweets, and um, some socks.’
‘What? Is that all?’ Laughed Thomas. ‘You must be really poor!’
James frowned at Thomas and tried to console Time by saying he was sure they were very nice presents.
Thomas realised how mean he had been as Tim walked away.
‘Tim, hang on!’ He called.
‘What?’ Asked Tim, turning around.
‘I just wanted to say that I am sorry for being horrible.’ Said Thomas.
‘That’s ok, I’m used to it.’
‘Hey, would you like my new bouncy ball?’ Offered Thomas, holding his beloved new gift out to the boy.
‘Really? Thank you so much! Can I bounce it? Asked Tim.
‘Yes, just make sure our parents aren’t looking!’ Laughed Thomas.
Tim grinned and they went to play with the ball together. It did bounce as high as the ceiling- twice.
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