Merry Noel – Carol Keefer

As soon as Halloween was over, Noel was jumping with Christmas joy. She hung up Christmas lights in her room and blasted Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” on a loop. It was torturous for her parents, but Noel couldn’t help her Christmas spirit– Christmas also happened to be her birthday!

Noel’s Christmas list was a mile high; the number of items on it was seemingly endless. Noel was a materialistic girl, and she wanted all of the presents on her list. She was practically the female equivalent of Dudley from Harry Potter. She would know when she didn’t get that Barbie doll that was placed at approximately #42 on her list, and boy, would she pester you about it. If someone did not satisfy Noel’s Christmas (and birthday) wishes, she would cry and cry and cry until that person took her to the store and let her pick out not only the item that she wanted, but another brand new present, too, just because you did not purchase the present that she had requested on her mile-long list.

On Black Friday, Noel would force her parents out of the house to being checking the list off, just in case Santa decided not to provide her with everything this year (even though “he” had every year prior).

“Mommy! Look at all of those stuffed animals! Can I have that one and that one and that one…” Noel would continue until she would have an entire cart stacked to the brim with stuffed animals.

“Yes, Noel. You can get all of the stuffed animals,” her mother would sigh, digging her credit card out of her wallet.

As soon as Noel was satisfied with her stuffed animal escapades, she would sprint as quickly as on Olympic gold medalist over to the toy aisle and grab practically every Barbie product there that she did not already possess at home. Noel made sure that her parents would not leave the store or pass the list on to relatives until an abundance of the gifts on her list were checked off.

When the Christmas spirit truly began kicking in, around December 14, Noel’s mother would bake gingerbread and sugar cookies leading up to Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas Eve, Noel and her family would travel down to Philadelphia to visit their family– many whom Noel had not seen in years. When Noel’s family arrived at the large venue that their family rented out each year, they were greeted by a mod of family members, and Noel felt like a celebrity. Everyone was laughing, singing, dancing, and overall having a good time, but Noel did not care for any of it. She did not enjoy the singing, dancing, and laughing– in fact, she was only there for the presents!

The thing with Christmas babies is that sometimes they believe they should be spoiled extra on Christmas, and Noel was definitely a firm believer in that. That is why Noel was more than angry when the presents were passed out and she only received an astounding twenty. When Noel unwrapped her final gift, she was surprised to find a small black box containing a tiny, twinkling bell inside of it. Noel held the bell firmly in her hand before giving it a little shake.

The bell made a small, twinkling sound like that of a slight breeze blowing on a wind chime. She was very disappointed in this gift, for this was no the Barbie beach house that she had asked for! No, this was a stupid, small bell that held no value in her young head. Noel proceeded to throw the bell on the ground before stomping it into a million little pieces.

Unfortunately, what Noel didn’t know was that the bell was a special gift that had been made special for her by her dying grandmother, and what she also did not know was that her grandmother watched silently, tears streaming down her face, as Noel smashed the bell. Noel did not know how important and sentimental the bell was to her grandmother. Her grandmother had put a lot of time and effort into decorating and designing the bell that had been laced with red ribbon and silver sparkles, for she just wanted Noel to have a bell as beautiful as herself.

Noel now knows how much that bell meant to her grandmother and every Christmas, when it dawns on her that her grandmother is no longer with it and that her smashing the bell is one of the last memories her grandmother had of her, Noel feels guilty for doing that to her grandmother’s sick heart all those years ago. She realizes now that, while it may not have been the Barbie beach house that she had wanted, the bell was made with love, yet she was too focused on the materialistic value that she had smashed it without a second thought.

That is why, dear reader, it is essential to appreciate the gifts given to you, no matter the size or materialistic significance, for they may hold a place of value in someone’s heart, and you might not realize that until it’s too late.

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