I guess it’s OK to just post a cute story. Not one that has a lot of significance….but a cute story full of hopes and dreams. If only wishes could come true so easily! Then again….. many other beloved Christmas stories are similar to this!
I hope you enjoy it!
A poor woman wandered through the city streets on a cold and miserable winter evening. She was expecting a baby and about to give birth. Each step brought her closer to that moment. Eventually she had to squat down behind some dustbins. If you had been there you would shortly afterwards have heard the baby’s first cry. But of course you weren’t there, for little Maria was born on Christmas Eve. At that time you were probably waiting impatiently for Santa Claus to knock on your door.
The poor woman wrapped her baby tightly in a shawl to protect her from the cold wind. She looked down at her, smiled and carried her gently to some cardboard boxes where she lived. No doubt you think that Santa Claus should have given Maria a present, but he had never heard of the poor woman and no one had told him that a tiny child had been born that Christmas Eve. No one in the whole city knew her or that she was expecting a baby. Santa Claus landed Rudolf the reindeer and his sleigh in the town square.
He consulted his big book of names, and went from door to door handing out presents. On his way he passed by the cardboard boxes where the poor woman lay with her new-born child. He thought he heard a baby cry but could see no one. To be quite certain he consulted his book again, but there was no mention of a child living there. “It’s just my imagination,” he thought, and continued through the city with his gifts for the children.
Maria turned 1, 2 and 3 years and still Santa Claus knew nothing about her. She lived with her mother, and all they had to eat were the scraps of food they could find in the dustbins. They were badly clothed, in hardly more than rags, and very poor. At night they still lay under their cardboard boxes as they had no real house to live in.
By the time Maria turned 4 and Christmas Eve came around once again she realised something was wrong. They sat in their cardboard house and watched as Santa Claus landed in the nearby street. Santa took a large sack of presents and went from door to door with gifts for the children, but he didn’t come to her.
Maria turned to her mother and asked “Mummy, why don’t I get Christmas presents like the other children?” Her mother did not know. “Perhaps it’s because we are so poor,” she replied stroking Maria’s hair consolingly. “Didn’t you get presents when you were little?” she asked. “No,” her mother said, “I was never given any presents either. Maria thought this most unfair. She glanced across at Santa’s sleigh and wondered whether she should run across to it and wait there until he returned. Then she would say to him “Here I am Santa Claus, why don’t I get presents like all the other children?”Yes, that’s what she would do!
She ran from the cardboard boxes and jumped into Santa’s sleigh. Her mother shouted after her to come back. But just then Santa came out of a house and hurried back to his sleigh. Maria became frightened when she saw Santa Claus coming towards her so she ducked down between the large sacks of presents. Santa Claus jumped in, grabbed the reins and shouted “Gee up Rudolf.” Before Maria had time to think, Rudolf set off down the street.
From her hiding-place among the sacks she saw her mother standing by the cardboard boxes watching what happened, in dismay. Maria wondered whether she should jump off, but suddenly they were airborne. She peeped cautiously down, the wind blew through her hair and she could see tiny houses with yellow lights far below. Above her the stars twinkled and the moon smiled down at her. Santa Claus held the reins and Rudolf galloped as fast as he could go.
She was rather frightened, and that isn’t so surprising, but she believed Santa Claus to be a kind man. She studied him for a while from her hiding-place. He looked as if he was thoroughly enjoying himself. He smiled and laughed and sang Christmas carols the whole time. His white beard looked very soft and warm and his eyes shone.
She crept carefully from her hiding- place so he could see her. She was very embarrassed as you can well imagine, but also very excited. When Santa Claus saw her among his sacks of presents he was quite startled. “Ho, ho, what’s this, have I got a visitor?” he said and smiled. “And a little princess too, what a lovely surprise. Who are you?” Maria looked shyly down at her shoes and replied “I am a girl you don’t know.
“Santa Claus looked shocked. “I don’t know you? It can’t be true,” he said “look here, I have lists of every little girl and boy in the whole world,” and he showed her his book of names. Maria was feeling much braver by this time. She looked at him and said “It’s quite true Santa Claus. You don’t know me, and you didn’t know my mummy either when she was a little girl. I was born behind some dustbins on Christmas Eve four years ago.”
Santa Claus looked very upset. “Is that so,” he said seriously. “Have neither you nor your mother ever had any presents from me? How dreadful. Now you must tell me your name.”Maria gave Santa Claus her name and he looked through all his books. He searched and searched but couldn’t find her anywhere. “Then I had better add you to my list,” he said. Santa Claus took out his pen and wrote her name in the book. “There we are, now I will make sure that a present is made for you every year.
” Maria realised that she wouldn’t be getting any gifts this year either. First they had to be made in Santa Claus’s workshop. She was terribly disappointed and turned away so that Santa Claus shouldn’t see the tears rolling down her cheeks.
But Santa Claus is a wise man and knew what Maria was thinking. “I am terribly sorry,” he said, “I only have presents for the children listed in my book.” He put his arm around her and gave her a hug. “Don’t be sad,” he said, “I have something even better here in my pocket.
“Santa Claus took out a glass ball and showed it to her. It was full of water and inside was a cosy little red house. “As you have never had a Christmas present and because it is your birthday today, I am going to give you this magic ball.” Maria held it in her hands and smiled. It was smooth and shiny and when she shook it, it became full of snow which fell slowly onto the roof of the house.
“Thank you,” she said and curtsied. “It is really lovely.” Santa Claus smiled at her fondly. “It is a very special glass ball. When you shake this one you can make a wish at the same time.” Maria looked at the ball and thought of all the things she would like, but then Santa continued: “But you will only be granted one wish, so you must choose carefully. It must be something you need very badly.
“By now they had arrived at the next town on Santa Claus’ list. He pulled on the reins and steered Rudolf down towards the ground. Maria clasped the glass ball tightly as they descended. The tiny houses grew larger and larger and she could even see a train far below. Rudolf looped around the church steeple and landed in front of the railway station. Maria would have liked to stay with Santa Claus and help him deliver the presents. She looked up at him and said “Do you think . . ?”
But Santa knew what she had in mind. He leant towards her and said, “I am very busy you know and must hurry around to all the children before Christmas Eve is over. Your mother is sure to be very worried about you, so here is a ticket for the train to take you back home. “Maria gave Santa Claus a big hug and thanked him again for the present. Then she ran to the station and caught the first train home. She had the compartment to herself and sat looking through the window at the dark and silent snow-covered landscape passing by.
She thought of Santa Claus, of the trip in his sleigh and the beautiful glass ball he had given her. As she thought of the glass ball she took it out of her pocket. Now she had time to study it properly. She looked closely at the red house with its cosy little window and white painted door. The snowflakes lay still on the ground and roof, but if she shook it the snow would whirl around and slowly fall again. Maria began to feel very tired. The train chuffed steadily along the tracks “clickety clack, clickety clack.” Marias eyelids slowly closed. She was looking at the little house as she fell asleep. In her dream she could see her mother inside it.
Then she became part of the dream. Maria and her mother lived in the little red house. Her mother opened a window to shake a rug while she whistled and sang happily. Maria dreamt she had a dolls pram which she pushed along the pavement. At that moment the glass ball slipped out of her hand and crashed to the floor. Maria woke with a start. Pieces of glass lay in a pool of water. The snowflakes were scattered about and in the middle of it all lay the little red house.
Maria was heartbroken when she saw what had happened. She had actually broken Santa Claus’ magic gift! She tried to find all the pieces and put them together again, but it was no use. Maria fell on her knees by the broken glass ball and cried, her tears falling on the little house – drip, drip, drip. She picked up the house and pressed it close to her cheek. Then she saw something strange. Where the house had lain was a key, not a toy key, but a real big door key. Carefully she picked it up. It felt cold and heavy in her hand. She didn’t understand the significance of the key so she continued to weep over the broken magic ball.
The closer she came to the town, the road and the cardboard boxes where she and her mother lived, the more she despaired. She thought of all the thousands of useful things they needed, one of which she could have wished for by shaking the glass ball, but now it was too late. The glass ball was broken and they must continue living in their boxes as before, freeze at night and eat what they could find in the dustbins.
But when she arrived home something very strange had happened. On the spot where their cardboard boxes normally stood was a small red house. It looked exactly like the little house in the glass ball, but this was a real house to live in. Her mother stood outside and was very pleased to see her little girl again. She hugged her so tightly that it almost hurt. “My darling little Maria are you all right?”
Maria dried her tears and told her mother about Santa Claus, his book of names and about the magic ball which she had dropped and broken on the train. Her mother told her of how she had gone for a walk looking for food, and found the red house when she returned. She was wondering who owned it, because no one had moved in. The annoying thing about it was that all their belongings, including the packing cases lay underneath it, so now they had absolutely nothing at all, and that on Christmas Eve of all things. Maria looked closely at the house and remarked: “It looks exactly like the little red house in the glass ball.” Then she remembered the key she had found and took it out of her pocket. “Do you know something, Mummy, when I picked up the little house I found this key lying underneath it – do you think it fits?”
Her mother took the key and inspected it closely. Without a word she stepped up to the white door and put the key in the lock. She turned it slowly and with a joyful little “click” the door opened. They entered the house cautiously side by side, and there in the hall stood a dolls pram complete with doll – exactly like the one she had dreamed about. Then Maria understood what had happened. Her dream on the train had come true at the same moment the glass ball had broken and shown her the key. It was her house! Her wish had been granted exactly as Santa Claus had promised.
In that way Maria and her mother got a real house to live in, and Santa Claus came with presents every Christmas. He always gave Maria an extra big hug because he never forgot how surprised and pleased he had been to find her in his sleigh on that Christmas Eve.
I am Grateful! How are You?