Christmas Miracle in My Childhood Memories: Reflective Essay

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When I was little, each time I heard someone say “giving is better than receiving,” I thought them to be crazy. Wasn’t getting presents the whole point of celebrating Christmas? It was the reason I couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve and why I was always the first one up on Christmas mornings.

“There won’t be much for Christmas this year. Please don’t be disappointed.” Mother had looked at the decorated old tree in the corner and warned me.

Christmas had always been the time of the year when my parents would spoil me and my brother silly, the presents would pile up under the tree, taking over the entire living room. But that year had been tough on the family. My father’s business partner duped him off of his share in the company and left us with little money and a long court case to fight.

I knew I was not supposed to be quite so excited. I was old enough to know better. But every chance I got had me shaking each wrapped present to guess its contents. I had examined all gifts under the tree so many times that I could tell which present was for whom without even looking at the tags.

On Christmas mornings, I eagerly wait in the living room for everyone to wake up so we could start unwrapping the presents. That year was no different, despite the circumstances. The more I tried to conceal the excitement, the jittery I got. As soon as everyone was up, my brother and I rushed to the tree and attacked the wrapping paper.

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“Here, Tony, this is for you.” My father announced as he handed my little brother another gift. I looked at the gift, confused. I had spent so much time examining the packages, I recognized them well. The gift they just gave Tony was mine! I couldn’t believe my eyes, my parents were giving away my present to him. Little Tony squealed at the idea of another present, but I knew. I recognized the handwriting, mom did this.

“Mom, how could you…”

I was stopped mid-sentence by my mother, I failed to understand her actions. “Look at your brother, Helen. Just look.” Eyes still blurry with tears, I looked at Tony, all of 3 he unwrapped the present with difficulty and then adorably pestered our grandfather to set up his brand new tent house. My tent house! Just as I was about to storm out of the room, little Tony came running, “Helen, did you see my new tent house? Did you? Helen, isn’t this the best Christmas ever? Only you and I can enter it, no one else. Come with me!”

All of eleven, I was taken aback. In my little universe, receiving always superseded giving, by a country mile. I never imaged how it would feel to give away something rightfully yours for someone else’s happiness. This act by my mother was a huge lesson for my eleven-year-old self. Tears filled my eyes and I wondered in disbelief just how wrong I was about Christmas all along.

Picking little Tony in my arms, I looked at mother and smiled. As small as the gift may seem, it was everything to Tony at that moment. In his little universe, this was now the best Christmas, all because he received an extra present. I was older, I had witnessed our parents going above and beyond each Christmas, this year was different to me but for little Tony, this was one of the first few Christmases he would even fully remember.

My mother’s actions, though incomprehensible at first turned into one of life’s biggest lessons for me. Starting that year Christmas felt different, I now knew how easily we can change someone else’s world, if only we stop and think beyond ourselves. What seemed absurd at first slowly became my motto, giving truly is better than receiving. Till date, my mother jokingly recalls that Christmas as my Christmas miracle.

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Christmas Miracle in My Childhood Memories: Reflective Essay. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
“Christmas Miracle in My Childhood Memories: Reflective Essay.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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