A Christmas Story

I picked up this story from the Internet.


Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I

had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless

baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted,

unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning

of Christmas.


My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season

for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter



I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production.

Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured

me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents

unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas

seemed happy with the compromise.


So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found

a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several

other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were

led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on

the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.


Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday

as Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial

entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when

my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold

title.  Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens,

red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front

row-center stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the

song.  As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the

letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his

portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."


The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small,

quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down -- totally

unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W."  The audience of 1st through 6th graders

snickered at this little one's mistake.  But she had no idea they were laughing at her,

so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W." Although many teachers tried to shush

the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it

together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we

understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place,

why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:


"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

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