Once upon a time, in a cheerful neighbourhood lived eight kind-hearted children – Mary, Esther, Lottie, Dorothy, Fred, Will, George, and Henry. Their playful laughter and innocent chatter were the symphonies of joy that echoed through the streets. But their hearts were heavy as they knew of a little girl, just like them, who lived in a house across the street.
This poor little girl, unlike them, couldn’t run and play. A severe ailment had confined her to her bed, a pain that brought sorrow to everyone. The cheerful gang of eight knew her family was poor, and they worried her Christmas wouldn’t be as festive and merry as it should be.
So they decided, “Let’s play Santa Claus and surprise her on Christmas morning!” Their young hearts fluttered with excitement as they decided to make her Christmas unforgettable.
Will, with his brilliant idea, made a beautiful Christmas stocking from bright red cambric, so large and fine. He hoped to fill it to the top with things that would make her eyes shine. He bought a beautiful storybook, filled with bright pictures and enchanting tales, hoping it would help drive her pain away.
Henry, ever so enthusiastic, wanted to be a part of this joyous plan. He brought a bunch of pretty toys and was eager to play Santa Claus, helping to spread Christmas cheer.
Dorothy knew that the little sick girl might get lonely. So, she thoughtfully brought a pretty book with easy stories to read, hoping it would keep her company during the long hours of the day.
Lottie contributed a delightful little tea-set. She had earned the money herself by washing dishes. “With love and best Christmas wishes,” she whispered as she added her present to the stocking, hoping the little girl would enjoy playing tea parties with her dolly.
George, who had been saving his money for a new bob-sled, couldn’t bear to be selfish at Christmas. He decided to buy a lovely box of paints and brushes, hoping it would help the little girl pass the time with fun and creativity.
Fred, the foodie, knew everyone loves good things to eat. So, he brought candies, nuts, and sweet, juicy oranges. His contribution added a sprinkle of sweetness to their heartfelt gifts.
Mary added a special touch with her present – a dear little dolly, dressed in a bonnet and dress she had stitched herself. Although her stitches were not very fine, she knew the little girl would love it. Esther and Lottie helped her with the doll’s clothes. Their joy and care went into each stitch and detail, making the dolly even more special.
Finally, the stocking was filled to the brim with love, hope, and warmth. They all looked at their work and imagined the girl’s surprise on Christmas morning. With joy in their hearts and a sense of accomplishment, they decided to carry the stocking across the street. The mission was to deliver the stocking and ask her parents to give it to her at the break of Christmas Day.
Together, they recited, “‘Tis better to give than receive.” They learned a precious lesson that Christmas, one they would carry in their hearts forever. And so, they walked in a line, carrying the stocking full of love and presents, off on their Christmas Stocking Adventure.
As the children disappeared into the snowy evening, the tale serves as a warm reminder for every child snuggling under their blankets at bedtime – the joy of giving is the most magical gift of all.