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The Forgotten Stories

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Star of Christmas

I always wanted to put the golden star on top of the tree during Christmas. But I’m only ten years old and I’ve always been too short to reach the top. Even if I’d stand on a chair, I’d still be too short. The only way I could reach it was if Dad would put me on his shoulders and lift me up. But since we usually put up the star during our Christmas party with all of our relatives, Dad usually lets one of the older kids put the star on top. That’s how it is on an average Christmas.

But last Christmas was not average. A lot of things were different, like how I had a plan to put the star on top of the tree all by myself. My plan was like this; first, I would take a glass ornament off the tree and start playing with it. When Dad would tell me to put it down, I would drop it on the ground and watch it break all over the floor. Dad would have to clean it up. When he would bend over to sweep it, I would grab the star, jump off of Dad’s back, and slam dunk it onto the tree like Michael Jordan. Okay, the plan was a little far-fetched, but I thought it would work.

I had a plan for Christmas, but apparently my parents didn’t. They didn’t have jobs. They called it “unemploide” or something like that. I don’t know how to spell that, but I do know that it made Mom sad. So I’d tell her that Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. Then she’d smile and say, “Sam, I know, you’re right.” And then she’d say that I might not get many presents from Santa Clause that year. So I’d say that’s all right, Christmas is about family, not presents. Then Mom would smile real big.

Then, before the party, I was talking to my friend Austin. He lives on my street and we hang out everyday. We know all of each others’ secrets, like how he picks his nose when nobody is looking. He told me not to tell anybody about that, so I don’t.

Anyways, Austin’s mom was unemploide too. And she was divorced. So she told Austin that Santa wasn’t real. But I told Austin that he was. I could tell that Austin was confused and sad. But I know how to make him smile. First, I told him that Christmas is about family, not presents. Then I told him about my plan to slam dunk the star and that made him smile real big, and we started talking about the cool Transformers toy that we both wanted.

Finally, it was time for the Christmas party. Dad told me to stand by the door and greet everybody, so I did. I even said hello to a homeless man because Dad told me to greet everybody, not just the people who were coming to the party. But I greeted them too. Aunt Beth and Uncle Andrew, John, Rebecca, and everybody else that showed up. They all brought lots of presents, and I noticed how excited Austin looked as he was looking at them.

Later, Mom and Dad made everybody go downstairs because they thought they saw Santa outside. Sure enough, as soon as everybody was downstairs, I heard some jingly bells and boots as Santa walked across the floor right above us. Then he laughed and shook the whole house.

After Santa left, everybody was allowed to come back upstairs. There were even more presents under the tree! All of the kids sat in a circle while the parents gave out the presents in what they called an “organeyesd fashin.” But really, it was chaos. Kids were yelling and parents were laughing. Only the really good kids like me and Austin stayed sitting the entire time. Everybody else just wanted their presents.

Mom was right. Santa didn’t give me as many presents. Mainly boring stuff, like clothes and underwear. But I did get the cool Transformers toy that I wanted. I was excited.

However, when I opened that present, I looked over at Austin. His eyes opened wide, but then he closed them and looked away from me. I felt real bad. I felt bad because I realized that Austin didn’t get any presents at all. And here I was with a cool toy that he wanted most.

I looked at the action figure and got excited. Then I looked at Austin and got sad. Then the action figure. Then Austin. And then I stood up and walked over to him with the action figure in my hand. He still wasn’t looking at me, but everybody else was.

Once I got to him, I held out the toy and told him to please take it. But he shook his head and said that he didn’t want it. So I said that if he took it, he could help me with my plan to put the star on top of the tree. After he shook his head again, I said that Christmas is about family, and families give presents to each other. But he said that I wasn’t his family, I was his friend. And I said I know because only friends tell each other that they secretly pick their nose. Then everybody started laughing.

After everybody stopped, Austin smiled and took the present. I could tell that he wanted to hug me, but he didn’t because he once said that men don’t hug each other. But I could still feel his heart hugging mine, and that made me feel real good.

Suddenly, it was time for somebody to put the star on the tree. I decided that my plan was too outrageous, so I decided not to do it. In fact, I didn’t even care about the star anymore.

But it didn’t matter what I cared about. Everybody sat down again except for Dad. He stood by the tree and cleared his throat. After a long while, he said that usually one of the older kids gets to put the star on top of the tree, but this time will be different.

He said that this is a special Christmas and somebody did something very special and showed all of the older people that Christmas is supposed to be a happy time, not a time for complaining about being unemploide. Then he looked at me and called my name. He said that I should put the star on the tree. So, I walked up to him and climbed on his back so he could give me a boost. I put the star on top of the tree and everybody started to clap, even Austin.

I still don’t know what they were clapping about. Putting the star on top of the tree wasn’t as awesome as I thought it was going to be. It really wasn’t something to clap about. Oh, well. I guess I missed something. I hope it will come again this Christmas so I can clap for it too. But, then again, I jus enjoy spending Christmas with my family.
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