Dixie Darr

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Fourteen

In Uncategorized on December 10, 2016 at 7:54 pm

pearl-buckSaturday, December 10, 2016

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received for Christmas? I’ve been asked that many times. One question no one has ever asked me is what’s the best gift you’ve ever given? That’s the question at the heart of Pearl S. Buck’s, story, Christmas Day in the Morning.

At four o’clock in the morning, Rob’s father always woke him up to help with the milking. One morning, he overheard his father telling his mother, “
“Mary, I hate to call Rob in the mornings. He’s growing so fast and he needs his sleep. If you could see how he sleeps when I go in to wake him up! I wish I could manage alone.”

That morning, Rob realized that his father loved him, and he wanted to find a Christmas gift for his father that reciprocated that love. “They were poor, and most of the excitement was in the turkey they had raised themselves and mince pies his mother made. His sisters sewed presents and his mother and father always bought him something he needed, not only a warm jacket, maybe, but something more, such as a book. And he saved and bought them each something, too.”

That Christmas when he was fifteen, Rob thought the dime store tie he had bought was just not enough for his father, and he suddenly knew the perfect gift. He got up at quarter to three and went quietly to the barn to milk the cows by himself and surprise his father. The work went surprisingly easy that day and he was back in bed when his father arrived to wake him at four.

Discovering that the milking had already been done, his father said it was, “The best Christmas gift I ever had, and I’ll remember it, son, every year on Christmas morning, so long as I live.”

Rob knew “that blessed Christmas dawn when, alone with the cows in the barn, he had made his first gift of true love.”

Isn’t that what we all want to give (and receive) on Christmas? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?


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