A Good Word in Season

Harvie Barker

At this time of the year, the giving and receiving of gifts is in the minds of many people, especially children. The following story I read reflects how one girl experienced the gift she received.

In the book, “A 3rd serving of Chicken soup for the soul”, Michelle Lawrence tells the story of her daughter’s wish for a Christmas gift. As she writes, “It was at least two months before Christmas, when nine year old Almie Rose told her father and me that she wanted a new bicycle. Her old Barbie bicycle was just too babyish, and besides, it needed a new tire.”

As Christmas got closer, Almie Rose’s wish for a new bike was not mentioned at all by her, so we thought it was just not that important to her. We decided she might like “the latest rage - Baby-Sitter’s Club dolls”, or other related books or toys.

But then, surprisingly, on December 23, she announced that she really wanted a bike more than anything else. As Michelle wrote, “Now we didn’t know what to do. It was just too late, what with all the details of preparing Christmas dinner and buying last minute gifts, to take the time to select the ‘right bike’ for our little girl.”

So on Christmas Eve at 9 p.m., faced with this situation, my husband Ron had an inspiration. He said, “What if I made a little bicycle out of clay and write a note that she could trade the clay model in for a real bike.”

He was thinking that this would give her lots time to to choose one that she really liked. So he spent several hours working really hard making a miniature clay bike that she would really like.

On Christmas morning, we looked forward to Almie Rose opening her present from us —“the little heart-shaped package with the beautiful red and white clay bike, and the note. Finally she opened and read the note aloud.” She looked at both of us and said, “So does this mean that I trade in this bike that Daddy made me for a real one?” Smiling brightly I said,”Yes”.

With tears in her eyes, Almie Rose said, “I could never take in this beautiful bicycle that Daddy made me. I’d rather keep this than get a real bike.”

As Michelle wrote, “At that moment, we would have moved heaven and earth to buy her every bicycle on the planet!”

Harvie Barker of Penticton is a retired United Church minister and author of the “A Good Word in Season” books. Copies of his books are $10 with 100% of the proceeds to Pathways Addictions Centre and the food bank. His books are available at the front desk of The Herald.