The days were getting shorter and the weather was getting colder. People often let that get them down, but not Sofia Evelina. For her that meant Christmas was coming! And the colder it became, the closer it got to her most favourite time of the whole year: Christmas! Sofia loved not having to go to school during Christmas break, and getting to sleep in. She loved all the yummy baking her mom did. But mostly, she loved all the presents under the tree, because many of them were for her!
This year she had exactly 12 things on her wish list. And on the very top of her list was a new tablet. She didn’t really care about anything else as much as that! She had gotten one a few years before, but it wasn’t working anymore, and she desperately wanted a new one so she could play online games with her friends. Sofia hated being the only kid who didn’t have anything to play when everyone else had one. It just wasn’t fair! She absolutely needed a new tablet. No doubt about it!
Sofia told both her mom and dad at least 6 times a day that she wanted a new tablet for Christmas. And even though they each made absolutely no promises to get her one, Sofia just knew deep down in her heart that she’d be getting one for Christmas. After all, her big sister had one, so it just made sense that she had one too. And if her dad didn’t get her one, she was sure her mom would.
The count-down was on. Only 5 more sleeps until Christmas Eve with her dad, and 6 sleeps until Christmas Day with her mom. It couldn’t get here fast enough!
4 more sleeps!
3 more sleeps! Maybe she should check under her mom’s tree and see what kind of boxes her presents were in. Might give her a better idea… She checked under the tree while her mom was busy. There were no names on any of the gifts! Just boxes wrapped with different kinds of paper and coloured ribbons. What is this?! Which presents were hers? Ugh, she couldn’t tell. No point to look, she thought.
2 sleeps! Ahh! The suspense was killing her!
1. More. Sleep…
Finally! The day was FINALLY here! Sofia was so excited she had hardly slept the night before. She was so sure she’d be opening up a new tablet today from her dad and step mom. If not, then for sure tomorrow at her mom and step dad’s.
The morning dragged on, then the afternoon. When her mom dropped her off at her dad’s house, she thought she’d go investigate under his tree. Nothing looked like a tablet box. Don’t give up hope, she told herself.
She had filled her tummy with so many cookies and her heart with so much excitement, she couldn’t even eat the big, delicious turkey dinner her step mom made.
At last! IT WAS TIME! She ripped open the paper of the first box: new shirts. Then another: room décor. Another box: 2 books. No tablet. Last box… could it be? She tore the paper, and much to her dismay, it was a jewelry box! Those things were on her list, but she’d give them up in a heartbeat just to have a new tablet.
“We know you wanted a new tablet, Sofia, but we just couldn’t do it this year. We’re sorry,” said dad, sadly.
Sofia was disappointed, but knew there was still a chance tomorrow. “It’s okay daddy,” she replied.
Later that night, back at her mom’s, she laid in bed, praying so hard that she’d get her wish. “God, I know you’re busy, but I absolutely need a tablet for Christmas! Amen.”
Her alarm went off at 6:00 am. Christmas morning was here at last! She ran down the stairs to the living room. The rest of the family lagged behind, still very sleepy. They gathered around the tree and her step dad read the Christmas story from the Bible. Ugh, this is taking forever, she thought.
Finally, it was her turn to open gifts. First gift: a soft blanket. Second gift: a set of pretty markers. Third and final gift: some new clothes. Sofia tried not to look too disappointed, but inside she was devastated. Her mom looked at her, “I’m sorry honey, but this year we just couldn’t afford to get you a new tablet. We know you really want one, but it just couldn’t happen this year.”
Crushed, but not wanting to hurt her mom’s feelings she said, “thank you for the gifts. I think I’m going to go to my room and have a rest.” And with that, she ran up the stairs and sobbed into her pillow. After about twenty minutes, her mom knocked on the door and walked in her room.
Sofia wanted to talk to her mom, but she was so overwhelmed with disappointment that she just couldn’t. Her mom laid down beside Sofia and started crying too. Puzzled, Sofia turned towards her mom and said, “mom, why are you crying?”
“Because this has been a very hard year for a lot of people, including us. I so desperately wanted to get you what you wanted, and I tried so hard to make it work. I know you’re so disappointed, and I am too. A lot of things just haven’t worked out for us. I so very proud of you and wanted to get you the best gift I could. And I promise, as soon as we’re able to, we’ll get you a new tablet.”
Now Sofia was sad and disappointed. Christmas was supposed to be a happy day, but this day was not happy at all! They both laid on Sofia’s bed, snuggling in the blankets and cuddling close.
Suddenly Sofia had an idea! Every single time she felt down, her mom would help her practice thankfulness. Now, she thought, would be a really good idea to practice that again. “Mom,” she whispered, “I know what we need to do.”
Her mom smiled, “oh yeah? What’s that?”
Sofia giggled, “Oh mom, I know you know, too!”
“Maybe, but I still want you to say it.”
“Okay,” Sofia took a deep breath. “We need to say what we’re thankful for. I’ll go first. I’m thankful that I have parents and step parents who love me. I’m thankful for the great holiday we’ve been having so far. I’m thankful for my presents that I did get. I’m thankful for Christmas and that Jesus came to the world as a baby so he could die for us and save us from our sins. And I declare that this next year is going to be a great year, no matter what happens.” At that moment, she could feel peace and joy wash over her, and smiled.
“My turn,” said mom. She took a deep breath, “I am so incredibly thankful that I have a daughter like you. There are no words to describe how much I love you. You are such a beautiful treasure that I don’t deserve. I’m thankful that I have just a glimpse of how much God loves me, because of how much I love you. And I’m thankful that no matter what happens in the world or what the years bring, we will always have each other!”
Sofia didn’t get a tablet that Christmas, even though she really wanted one. She was sad about it, but figured maybe she could do extra chores to save up for one. At the end of the day, she knew that she had more than what a lot of other people had, and that was a family that truly loved God and each other. And that was better than all the tablets in the world!