Presents! Presents! Presents!

A sassy five-year-old girl walked into preschool on a cool winter day. It was the first day of December, and Sandy Mcgriffin was feeling confident. After all, she was perfect. Her pigtails were always done perfectly and rested on her back perfectly, she got anything she wanted, and she was the Queen Bee of the class.

Sandy was super happy because December was Christmas, and Christmas meant she got all the presents she wanted from Santa. And Santa always got her presents. In art class, Ms. Daisy told the class to paint something about Christmas. Sandy drew herself standing on a pile of presents, wearing Santa’s cap. Molly, Sandy’s friend, was drawing a gingerbread man.

“All you get for Christmas presents are gingerbread men?” Sandy asked mockingly.

Molly furrowed her brow. “No. I bake them with Mama.”

Ms. Daisy came over to where the two girls were.

“Excellent picture, Molly,” she said.

“What about mine? What about mine? Isn’t mine BEAUTIFUL?” Sandy piped up, jumping up and down.

“Um, Sandy, you draw the same picture every day in art. Is there anything else you can think of about Christmas?”

“NO!” Sandy shouted. ”Presents! Presents! Presents! Presents! All for me!”

Ms. Daisy looked taken aback and the rest of the class turned. Sandy crossed her arms and grumbled. Then, she continued to add more lopsided boxes to her pile.

Ms. Daisy blinked and then said, “Okay class, it’s time to show our spectacular drawings!”

Molly eyed Sandy nervously as if she would explode with the thought of all her presents. ”Sandy… drawing time is up you know. Sandy?” Molly peeped, but Sandy still continued, and Molly just sighed and turned to the front of the class.

After art, the class was supposed to sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for the preschool’s assembly. All the parents came but ended up having their kids’ voices drowned out by Sandy’s high-pitched babbling song of “Santa Gives Me All the Presents!” Embarrassed, Mr. and Ms. Mcgriffin quietly excused themselves from the crowd.

Finally, it was the day before winter break, and there was going to be a class party for the whole day. Sandy couldn’t keep herself in her seat. Christmas was around the corner and that was when she got the most presents.

“For the party, we will have some relatives coming over to help out; so, everyone, I want you to be extra polite, and we’ll give the families a big thank you at the end, okay?” Ms. Daisy exclaimed to the class when guests started to file in.

“Yes, Ms. Daisy,” the class replied, as Sandy nearly toppled over her seat.

“Sandy!” Ms. Daisy said aghast.

A lot of relatives came for the party, including Sandy’s older brother, Rick, who looked beside himself with boredom and grumbled the whole way. At the end of the party, each of the students got a leaflet that said how Christmas is also about giving and not just taking and left a space for this question: What would you give to someone needy?

Sandy scribbled in lopsided handwriting: PRESENTS.  

On the night of Christmas Eve, Sandy decided to go on an important mission: to track down Santa that night and see him for herself. Sandy crept quietly downstairs, excitement bubbling inside her. She walked to the living room, where a cheerful Christmas tree was set up, with blinking red and green lights. But what she saw, she had not expected: her parents were wrapping up presents to put under the tree. Where was Santa?! Sandy only thought of one reason why Santa was missing.

“You ambushed Santa! You ambushed Santa! What did you do to him? MOMMY!!!” Sandy screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Sandy! Behave yourself! You’re not supposed to be awake right now anyway!” Sandy’s mom said sharply.

“But Santa…” Sandy’s voice broke off. ”Did you kill him?”  

“No, no! Sweetie, darling, we would never do that. No, Santa is fine. We were just… um… helping him… ‘cause he is so busy tonight!” Sandy’s mom said tenderly, and her dad nodded along. Rick, who was staying up late and was listening at the door, broke into hysterical laughter.

Sandy’s bottom lip trembled, and then — “WAAAAAA!!! Santa’s gone!”  

“No, dearest, Santa’s not… Sandy! Please! You’re going to wake the neighbors! Rick! Help us here would you? Comfort your sister before she wakes the whole neighborhood!”

Rick groaned and opened the door. Sandy stopped crying when she saw him. “Where’s Santa?” she shouted.

Rick opened his mouth to speak and then closed it. “Look, Sandy, what is the most important thing to you about Christmas?”  


“Right, well either way on Christmas, Santa doesn’t guarantee you will always get presents, right? Besides, it was never proven that he is um…”

Rick…” Sandy’s mom warned.

“But she’s got to know!” Rick protested.

“KNOW WHAT?!” Sandy shouted.

“Look, Sandy, Santa doesn’t make up Christmas or presents on Christmas Eve — family does.”

“Really?” Sandy asked, cocking her head to the side.

“Yeah,” Rick continued, “but you see, Christmas is about family more than Santa, ‘cause well, you see, sis…” Rick took a deep breath. “Santa isn’t real.”

For a few moments of solidifying silence, Sandy just blinked, and then… she fainted.

Well, Sandy sure did learn the hard way, but in the end, she was able to find out about the true wonders of Christmas. What she learned actually helped her enjoy the holiday more with family and friends. (Just don’t tell her that we wrote this story about her experience.)



P.S. from Rick: Well, that was a pretty amusing day!


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