Christmas was just around the corner and Mrs. Greenfield decided to share Christmas songs and stories that she grew up listening to. Each afternoon just after lunch, a new song or a story was told. The students always looked forward to this. They quieted down and listened with great intent.
This was an excellent exercise for them to sharpen their listening skills and their communication skills, not to mention they loved to sing even if they were not the best.
One of the favorites happened to be Frosty the Snowman who magically came to life once a silk top hat was placed on his head. At first, the class was disappointed that Frosty quickly melted once the temperatures rose.
Mrs. Greenfield had to quickly reassure them that Frosty does come back every year once the snow begins to fall. sharing his laughter and songs with all the boys and girls. This particularly made little Bethany happy. She had cried once Frosty had said goodbye.
At the start of each day, Mrs. Greenfield opens the door to their classroom greeting the children with hugs and smiles. As they sat down ready to start their day she would tell them what song or story was in store for that afternoon.
“Today we will listen to the song “Rudolph”. It is about a young reindeer who was born with a noise that was very different from all the other reindeer. His parents loved him regardless.”
Bethany’s eyes widened with excitement. She hoped the morning would go by quickly so she could eat lunch and she could hear more about this reindeer named Rudolph.
Bethany was the first student in the classroom after lunch was over. She sat quietly as the other students arrived. Some of the boys took their time arriving. They were preoccupied with playing their game of tag.
“Billy, Chris, Nathan hurry up. Mrs. Greenfield will play the song for us as soon as you sit down.” Bethany yelled. Nathan rolled his eyes at her. She gave him a stern look back and he sat down avoiding looking at her again.
Their teacher busied herself connecting her laptop to the monitor on the wall above her desk and cueing up the popular children’s Christmas song. She looked over in Bethany’s direction. She was sitting with her hands folded on her desk with a huge smile on her face.
The music began to play. The animated characters captured all the student’s attention. When the reindeer wouldn’t play with Rudolph anymore Bethany’s smile turned to a frown. She buried her face in her hands with disappointment.
The music continued ” Then one foggy Christmas eve.” and Bethany looked once again at the monitor. Her smile returned. All of his friends returned. Rudolph became a hero and saved Christmas.
As Mrs. Greenfield turned off her laptop, Bethany asked her, “Why was Rudolph judged just because he wasn’t like the other reindeer?” Nathan blurted out, “He has a big nose!” Once again he received that same stern look from Bethany.
Her teacher thought for a minute to find the right words to say, ” Some people are quick to judge others without really getting to know them. All Rudolph wanted was friends to play with. It was when Santa asked for his help that his others wanted to be his friend again.
“Well ,that is silly. I hoped they all learned a lesson.” Mrs. Greenfield closed the lid to her laptop and said, “ I believe they did and maybe all of you have too. Now let’s get busy. Get your math books out and turn to page seventy-two.”
Bethany couldn’t wait until the end of the day and thank her teacher for another wonderful holiday song. She ran all the way home, anxious to share this song with her mom and baby sister.
topenwithangel.com “Deafening Silence”
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Children have the purest soles and do not see differences. Their world is seen through rose colored glasses.
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just around the corner – idiom : not far away
sharpen – verb: to improve
magically – adverb: in a beautiful way
reassure – verb: say or do something to remove the doubts or fears
in store – phrasal verb: coming in the future; about to happen
regardless – adverb: despite the circumstances
preoccupied – adjective: distracted
stern – adjective: serious
cueing up – verb: set a piece of audio or video equipment in readiness to play
captured – verb : catch
Question ( s ):
Have you ever listened to a song and try to find it’s true meaning behind it?
Mrs. Margaret Broomfield was known as the most caring teacher at Public School Number Nineteen. She taught second grade for over twenty two years. Each school year, when a student was in need of something, she made it a point to help them without making it a big deal out of it.
For many years she bought backpacks, crayons, winter coats or even shoes for her students using her own money. She was the epitome of what people describe as a kind and generous person.
This year turned out to be a little different. Mrs. Broomfield had come down with pneumonia and she missed a lot of school. It had taken her quite a bit of time to recover.
Her students missed her even though their long term substitute teacher was wonderful. She wasn’t Mrs. Broomfield. Raymond missed her more than anyone had realized. He had lost his grandmother a year ago and he became attached to Mrs. Broomfield’s wonderful motherly demeanor.
Thanksgiving came and went and still Raymond’s teacher hadn’t returned to work. Raymond had become very quiet in class. He had always been very eager to participate and answer questions but now he was quite the opposite.
Miss Sally, the substitute, talked with Mrs. Broomfield often keeping her up to date with her students. She had mentioned Raymond’s behavior and this bothered Mrs. Broomfield. She knew he was a sensitive little one.
“Tell Raymond that I am on the mend and should be back to school soon. Until then I want him to keep an eye on things and to be your helper.”
Sally smiled and thought this was a fantastic idea. Keeping his mind busy would be a great thing especially with Christmas coming up. “I will tell him on Monday morning.” They hung up the phone with one another until Monday evening for a new update.
Monday morning came and Miss Sally had asked to speak to Raymond. His classmates thought for sure he was in trouble and you heard them chant, “Oh, Raymond is in trouble. Raymond is in trouble.” Miss Sally quickly shushed them.
Raymond looked at Miss Sally as she sat at her desk, “I talked with Mrs. Broomfield on Friday and she is asking a special favor from you. She would like you to help me as you had helped her. She is hoping to be back at school very soon until then you will be my special helper.”
Raymond smiled with delight. He accepted the new role as Miss Sally’s helper and he said, “I will do my best. Tell Mrs. Broomfield to hurry back until then I will help you as much as I can.”
That evening Raymond couldn’t wait to tell his parents of his new role in the classroom. “If you think of Miss Sally being the president then I would be the Vice President” His dad chuckled. “This is a very important job, you know. I know you will do good as the Vice President.“
For the next few weeks Raymond and his classmates had one thing on their mind. With almost three weeks for their winter break from school and Christmas which was right around the corner, their excitement grew.
Mrs. Broomfield was told by her doctor she would be able to return to work just after the break. Miss Sally had shared the fantastic news with the students.
“I will miss all of you,” she said. Especially you Raymond. You have been such a great help to me but I know you are all anxious to have Mrs. Broomfield back.”
Raymond stayed behind as the others headed to the lunch room. He wanted to talk with Miss Sally about his special gift for his teacher.
Miss Sally. Can I ask you for a favor?” Raymond’s face was serious. “Of course you can. What is it Raymond? Raymond drew in his breath and began. “Every year Mrs. Brookfield takes care of us. If we ever need anything then we can ask her. If she is able she gets what we need.” Miss Sally had heard this about his teacher.
“So what exactly do you want me to do? Raymond quickly ran over to his backpack which was on a hook by the door. He pulled out his piggybank and returned to Miss Sally.
“I have been saving my money for a long time and I want you to take it and buy Mrs. Broomfield a Christmas tree. I know she wasn’t able to get her own this year. she cannot have a Christmas without a tree.”
Miss Sally sat there absorbing Raymond’s words. At age eight he showed her the true meaning of Christmas. He could have asked for dozens of things but instead he thought of his teacher.
“I think that is a fantastic idea. Let go one step further and the class can make all of the decorations and you can make the special star that sits on the top. I will deliver it on Friday.”
He hugged Miss Sally. “ I will miss you too.” He turned and ran towards the cafeteria with a huge smile on his face. He couldn’t wait to share the news with his classmates and tell his parents what he decided all on his own.
In class the next day the students busied themselves making decorations for their teacher’s tree. Miss Sally would go out that evening to purchase a small tree since Margaret’s apartment was small. She would bring it to class so the children could see it .
Raymond made the star for the top. He carefully glued sparkles all over it so the light on the trees would make it shimmer. He was proud of his masterpiece.
At the end of the day Miss Sally collected all the ornaments the children made. They even made a very long paper garland made of green and red construction paper. They felt it would add the perfect touch.
She promised the students she would deliver everything tonight. It was the last day of school and it was Miss Sally’s last day teaching their class. Each student hugged her as they left for winter break.
Sally knocked on Margaret’s door about six that evening. She carried a box of homemade ornaments in one hand and a small live tree in the other. “What’s all this,?” as she helped Sally with the box..
“All of this is from your students. It was Raymond’s idea. He wanted me to buy you a tree. He said Christmas isn’t Christmas without a tree.”
“He is so kind and I will miss that little one.” Margaret sat down on her sofa going though all the ornaments and reading the messages on the back.
The two women set the tree up and decorated it with all the student’s ornaments. Sally’s contribution was a string of holiday lights that glowed red, green and white.
Margaret stepped back and looked at the final product. She wanted to take pictures so she could show her students after break. “Wait. I have one more special thing from Raymond.” She went to her coat pocket and carefully unwrapped his shiny star for the top.
Sally handed it to Margaret so she had the honors of placing this precious star on the top. Both stood back in admiration. Not only for what the children made but what they did out of love for their teacher.
Tons of pictures were taken by both. Sally, so she could remember the students and Margaret so she can share them once she returned to school. They sat in silence, drinking coffee and eating sugar cookies while they looked at the tree. To each of them the tree stood for something but one thing they both agreed on, the tree stood for more than just a tree.
topenwithangel.com “Deafening Silence”
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Thoughts From Angel:
Through the years Christmas somehow became commercialized. The true meaning seems to be washed away or hidden behind the frill.
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making it a big deal out of it – idiom: to treat (something) as very important or too important
epitome – noun: a perfect example of a particular quality or type
Nadine and her son, Vince, had been window shopping all day. Vince spotted a little red truck in the window of the toy shop in the town square. He would love to have it but Vince knew he couldn’t ask his mom. Christmas was just around the corner and would definitely ask Santa for this truck. At his tender young age, he knew things were a little tough this year for them.
Last year Nadine and her husband went through a divorce. She tried to keep things normal for Vince’s sake but it was too difficult.to make ends meet as a single parent. The two ended up moving back to her hometown where she grew up.
Clarksville hadn’t changed much since she was a little girl. Only one thing was missing, her mom. She had passed away two months ago leaving her dad at a loss. Moving back was a no-brainer for all involved. She hoped it would be temporary. She just needs to save enough time to save enough money and get a place of their own.
The first thing was getting a part-time job. She hadn’t worked since she gave birth to Vince. She was determined and talented so she didn’t worry too much. Small towns didn’t offer much in the way of great opportunities. Nadine wasn’t looking for anything special. She just wanted to provide for her son to the best of her abilities.
Her father could watch Vince while she worked and her son would be great company for her father. The loss he had just suffered would soften.
“Did you have fun today in town, Vince?” Grandpa asked as they arrived home. “Yes Grandpa. Mommy and I walked by the toy store and they had many decorations up. There was a sign that said Santa would visit on Sunday. I am going to ask Santa for the red truck I saw in their window. Grandpa, it was the brightest red truck I ever seen!” Little Vince couldn’t contain his excitement.
His grandfather chuckled. “Well maybe you can show it to me someday. I’d love to see this special red truck of yours. Now go upstairs and wash your hands. I heated up some soup for dinner, and I got you those animal shaped saltine crackers you like so much.” Vincent smiled and hurried upstairs to wash up.
Nadine looked at her dad. “I don’t want to disappoint him. I need to find a job dad. At this time of the year it will be difficult to find one. Try not to encourage him. I don’t have the extra money.”
“Santa hears all little boys and little girls wishes, Nadine. You never know.” Her dad smiled, turned and headed to the kitchen. Nadine stood there and shook her head in dismay. He obviously didn’t understand.
Vince talked to his grandfather about the red truck he saw then became preoccupied with the animal saltines in his soup. Nadine ate in silence. She enjoyed hearing her son’s excitement finally. He had taken the break up between her and her husband hard and didn’t quite understand why daddy wasn’t going to be around any longer.
As Nadine tucked her son in bed that night he asked mom if they were going to see Santa on Sunday. “Mom, we are going to see Santa on Sunday right? I want to ask him for that little red truck.”
“Of course we will go but Vince asking Santa for that truck now, so close to Christmas it may be impossible for him to fill the order. His elves work all year to make enough toys for everyone. So don’t get your hopes up ok?”
Vince smiled , “I love you mom.” He turned over and pulled the covers up over his shoulder. “Love you too.” She turned off the lamp by the bedside and headed out the door, closing it quietly behind her.
Nadine’s father was sitting in his favorite chair when she arrived downstairs. He had busied himself reading one of his favorite books, again. “Don’t you ever get tired of reading those books over and over again?”
Her father glanced up and shook his head. “Of course not. Classic books are meant to be read again and again.” He smiled and went back to reading. Nadine spent the remaining part of the evening quietly watching the television.
Today was going to be a big day. Vince and his grandson would head into town to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Vince had woken up earlier than usual and dressed. He bounded downstairs wanting to get an early start.” You ready Grandpa?”
“It’s way too early . We will leave in a few hours. Maybe you can show me that special red truck today.” Vince took off his coat and mittens to sit down to a bowl of oatmeal his grandfather made for him. The sweet smell of brown sugar made Vince’s mouth water. His mom didn’t like him eating so much sugar but what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt.
Finally, Vince and his grandfather headed into town. For Vince it seemed an eternity but it was actually an hour and a half. Vince grabbed his grandfather’s hand and hurried him to the toy store. There in the window sat the infamous red truck. It sat amongst a tiny village and Christmas tree lot.
“See Grandpa, there it is.” Vince’s nose was pressed against the store’s window. “One day, when I grow up, I will own my own red truck. I want it to look just like this one!” Vince’s Grandfather looked down at his grandson. He saw how important this truck was to him. He would need to talk to the shop’s owner before Christmas.
From the toy store the two headed to the tree lot on the edge of town. “I want the tallest and fattest tree ever! “ They both laughed. After running up and down the aisles of trees to choose, Vince picked out the perfect blue spruce. Its needles shimmered the perfect blue green in the morning’s sunlight. It stood nearly ten feet tall.
“I hope we have room for this tree. I think you’ve picked the tallest tree they had here.” Vince was smiling from ear to ear. He couldn’t wait for his mom to see his tree.
After dinner the three decorated the tree. Topping it with Grandma’s favorite angel that grandpa had given her on their first Christmas together. Vince had fallen asleep on the sofa. His day was filled with excitement from the start to the end. Tomorrow will also be an eventful day. Vince would finally get to ask Santa for that little red truck.
Vince and Nadine stood in line to see Santa. Grandpa had told them he couldn’t make it. He had a prior engagement to go to. Of course, Vince was a little upset but he soon forgot as he stood in line with all the other boys and girls.
As they moved closer and closer to the front of the line Vince’s excitement grew. He could hear all the others ask for trains , dolls or a ball. There was something in Santa’s voice that sounded familiar to Vince but he shrugged it off.
He was finally there at the front of the line. He climbed up on Santa’s lap and was asked, “So, what do you want for Christmas, Vince.” Vince looked at Santa in amazement. He knew his name.
Vince looked out at his mom who stood in front with her cell phone recording every moment then at Santa again. ” I want a few things Santa. I want my mom to find a job. I know she worries about this and for my grandpa, I want him not to be so sad anymore. Grandma passed away and he has been very sad. And for me Santa, I want the little red truck I saw in the window at the toy store. Ever since I saw it I have wanted it.“
Santa looked out at Vince’s mom and saw tears in her eyes. He thought, what a special young man she raised. “Well Vince, let me see what I can do for you. Merry Christmas.” He hugged Vince and gave him a candy cane as he climbed off of Santa’s lap.
Christmas was in a few days. Vince helped his mom bake sugar cookies and assemble a gingerbread house. The days flew by. Nadine had shown the video to her father of Vince meeting Santa.
“I thought there was something very familiar about this Santa and it wasn’t until I watched it for the second time that I realized you were Santa. I could see it in your eyes. Vince has your eyes.”
Her father looked at her. He smiled and winked. “I have been Santa’s helper for the past six years. It gives me something to do. This year I almost declined until you two came to stay with me.”
Nadine hugged her dad. This Christmas was turning out to be special and surprising. Her own son is selfless, wanting her and grandpa to be happy before him.
Christmas morning Vince had woken early running downstairs to see what Santa had left for him. To his surprise, there on the coffee table sat his little red truck with a tiny Christmas tree wrapped and sitting in its bed.
It wasn’t until years later when Vince headed off to college that he was told his grandfather was Santa that year and that truck signified more to his grandfather then he realized.
His mom told him that he brightened up his grandfather’s life when he most needed it. That one day when he was shown the truck and he picked out the biggest and fattest tree from the lot had given him the will to live on.
To this day, Vince still has that little red truck. Hoping to pass it on to his own son and telling him the story of his own grandfather being Santa’s helper that year.
topenwithangel.com “Deafening Silence”
Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen
Thoughts From Angel:
Sometimes, the smallest of treasures can hold the most memories.
If you appreciate what I do and would like to support this site:
I receive 100% of all donations
tender young age – idiom: a time in your life when you are still young and lack experience
sake – noun: out of consideration for or in order to help someone
make ends meet – idiom: earn enough money to live without getting into debt
no-brainer -noun: something that requires or involves little or no mental effort
dismay – noun: surprise
preoccupied – adjective: preoccupied
classic – noun: recognized and established value
bounded – verb: walk or run with leaping strides
what (she) didn’t know wouldn’t hurt -idiom: if someone does not know about something, he or she cannot be damaged by it, blamed for it, etc.
eternity – noun: infinite or unending time
infamous – adjective: well known for some bad quality or deed
amongst – preposition: surrounded by; in the company of
shimmered – verb: shine with a soft tremulous light
shrugged it off – phrasal verb: ignore it or treat it as if it is not really important or serious
declined – verb: politely refuse
selfless – adjective: concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish
Question ( s ):
Do you have any holiday memories that you will share with generations to come?