Authors: Nancy C. Wilson
Tags: #christmas, #dolls, #friends and neighbors, #friends at christmas, #friends and bullying
A Christmas Story
Written by Nancy C. Wilson
Mama’s hands were warm and tender as she
tucked Amy into bed.
Amy looked up at her mom and tried to smile.
She had short curly red hair and blue eyes that looked like they
were about to cry.
Her mother grabbed a silly looking doll named
Poppy and placed it in the little girls arms, who snuggled it
Poppy had blue braided hair that stuck
straight up; she was a vinyl doll with freckles on her face and a
sweet smile. Dressed in a pair of overalls, a flowery little blouse
underneath and a pair of red and white sneakers. Not a very pretty
doll, but a good friend since Amy was three.
Mama bent down to give her a kiss goodnight
on the forehead, then started to leave the room, closing the door
and then remembering to leave it ajar.
Poppy.” Amy whispered. “It’s a big day
tomorrow, first day at this new school…and to be perfectly honest,
I’m really nervous.”
Amy held Poppy up and away from her for a
moment. Poppy’s smile made Amy smile and she held her close
We’ll make it.” Amy said and turned
over to go to sleep.
Mama looked in on Jen who was sitting
cross-legged on her bed reading the latest teen magazine.
Jen, come on.” Her mom said, taking
the magazine away and giving her teenage girl a quick
Mom, I’m fourteen, I don’t need you to
tuck me in, and it’s still early!” Jen argued.
You need a few brains left for your
first day at school tomorrow.” Her mother reminded her.
Gees.” Jen moaned and crawled under
Good night sweetie.”
Night mom.” Jen said and then pulled
the covers over her head.
“Come on Amy, rise and shine, time to get
up.” Brenda Sheaffer called up to her daughter.
“Oh all right.” Amy hollered, from
“You don’t want to be late your first day at
school.” Her mother hollered back.
“Oh don’t I?” Amy said.
“Come on sweetie, I made you pancakes.” Her
“Okay, I’m coming.” Amy got dressed and went
“Well, look at you. New shoes, new clothes
and what’s this? A brand new trapper keeper! Well…you’re all set
young lady.” Her dad said giving her a big hug.
“Yeah, but are they ‘all set’ for her?” Jen
said sitting down to eat her breakfast.
“Come on Jen, give your sister a break. It’s
scary the first day of school. She doesn’t know anybody yet.”
Brenda chided her oldest daughter.
“Well, if I know Amy, she’ll slip into a
corner and stay there the rest of her life. She doesn’t even try
mom.” Jen said.
“I try, it’s just no use.” Amy said sitting
down at the kitchen table, she picked up a fork and stabbed at her
“I know you try honey, I guess you just
really miss your friend Kristy. Well, I promise, you’ll make new
friends.” Her mom said.
“Well, I’ve never had a problem making
friends.” Jen smiled.
“Oh shut up Jen, you don’t know anybody
either.” Amy challenged.
“Oh yes I do.” Jen gave her sister a sly
“And just who do you know?” Her father said;
putting his paper down and casting a dubious look at his oldest
“Oh I just met a couple of girls at the
corner drug store. We were glancing through the latest teen scene
magazines and well, just got to know one another. They’re really
“Well, I think that’s great. We moved into
this house just two weeks ago and already your sister has some
friends. You’ll meet some girls at school today Amy, and they’ll
probably turn out to be your best friends.
“Mom, I doubt very much that they’ll be that
friendly on her first day. Come on, it takes forever to get to know
someone. You need something in common with them; like make-up! Jen
“Amy is way too young for make-up of any
kind.” Her mom replied.
“Way to put a damper on the first day of
school Jen.” Her father said folding his paper and taking a last
sip of coffee. Give her a break huh?” Her father lightly tapped her
on the head with his newspaper, kissed his wife and then patted Amy
on top of the head.
“Way to go Dad, you’ve just messed up my
hair.” Jen complained.
“Hang in there slugger.” He said to Amy as he
went out the kitchen door.
“Slugger? Really Dad?” Jen groused shaking
“No trouble today, okay girls. Try to get
along. I think there’s a bus that stops on the corner, so don’t
miss it, either of you!” Their mother said, warning them.
“Really mom? I’m too old to ride a bus, I’m
going to meet those girls at the corner and we’re going to walk to
school.” Jen said getting up and fussing with her hair.
“Well, okay, but don’t talk to any
“That’s about all there is in this town to
“I know.” Their mother sighed. “Just be
“I’d rather take the bus.” Amy said finishing
“Good girl, I’ve got to get dressed and go to
church.” Brenda said, rushing up the stairs to her room.
“Church?” The girls both said out loud.
Amy joined the other kids at the bus stop;
which was an uneventful gathering of elementary school
Amy was relieved no one noticed her. She
stood off to the side holding her trapper keeper to her chest as if
it were armor against any unwelcome comments someone might
Truth be known, she wished someone would say
something to her in friendship; but that was too much to ask for,
“Oh where is that bus?” She said out
All of a sudden she heard a voice behind
“Good morning children, have a wonderful
“Good morning Mrs. Shepherd, thanks.” The
children automatically chirped back.
“Who’s that?” Amy said it before she realized
“That’s Mrs. Shepherd, are you the new girl?”
One pretty little blond haired girl asked.
“Yeah.” Amy answered, looking down at her
“Okay, well, you can eat lunch with us today
if you want, my name is Heather.” She said smiling at Amy.
“Well hey, why don’t you sit with me on the
bus.” Heather offered.
“Okay.” Amy said smiling back.
The bus arrived and the children started
climbing up the steps and grabbed their seats. Unfortunately the
bus had several stops before Amy’s and there weren’t a lot of seats
Heather rushed to the back of the bus and sat
with a girl who had long dark braids.
Amy went back to sit with her but the girls
put their trapper keepers down so no one could sit with them.
“Oh, sorry, I guess there’s no room. You’ll
have to sit somewhere else.” Heather frowned and then giggled.
The bus driver hollered for everyone to sit,
but every time she went to take a seat, someone put something in
her way and then glared at her.
“FIND A SEAT!” The bus driver yelled at
“Here.” A girl offered to move her lunch box
out of the way and let Amy sit down.
Amy gratefully sat down and continued to hold
her notebook to her chest.
“So, what’s your name?” The girl asked.
“Amy, what’s yours?”
“Misty.” She answered.
“What grade are you in?” Misty asked.
“Me too.” Misty said.
“They’re mean girls back there, don’t trust
them.” Misty advised.
“Yeah, I learned that the hard way.” Amy
said, turning around to see the two girls heads together laughing
at something, probably her.
“Who’s the dark haired one with braids?” Amy
“That’s Jenny, she’s one of the meanest girls
in school.” Misty said turning around and narrowing her eyes at
“Well, I hope she’s not in my classroom.” Amy
said turning back around.
“Afraid she will be and that little stuck up
Heather, we’re so lucky.” Misty said sarcastically.
“Who’s the fifth grade teacher?” Amy
“We’ll really be lucky if we get Mrs. Bond
this year.” Misty answered.
“Is she nice?” Amy asked.
“The nicest.” Misty replied.
Brenda Sheaffer, dressed in a long sleeved
navy blue sweater and dark burgundy skirt hurried up the steps of
the Millersville Community church.
By the time she got inside the church doors,
she was out of breath.
“Good grief Mrs. Sheaffer, you didn’t have to
rush. It’s fine; in fact you’re early. Not everyone has
“Oh, thank goodness.” Brenda said taking a
seat in the front row next to an older lady.
“Hello, my name is Ruth Shepherd.” The lady
said introducing herself.
Ruth Shepherd was a slight older woman in her
early seventies, with stylishly short brown hair with whips of gray
intertwined, giving her an appearance of both grace and
While speaking to Brenda, her eyes seemed to
twinkle which increased the laugh lines around her eyes. Her cheeks
were rosy and the slight bit of mauve lipstick she was wearing gave
her complexion a sort of glow.
She was wearing a pretty autumn colored brown
and gold dress with long sleeves and a matching sweater.
“And I’m Brenda Sheaffer, new in town.”
Brenda said still a little out of breath.
“My, you’re a pretty young woman.” Mrs.
Shepherd said complimenting Brenda.
“Why thank you. I haven’t heard that in
years.” Brenda beamed.
a pretty woman, with her
auburn hair pulled back and twisted. She had warm blue eyes and an
“Do you have any children?” Mrs. Shepherd
“Yes, two. A fourteen-year-old girl named
Jen, and my Amy who just turned ten. They’re both a handful, but
they are the loves of my life.” Brenda smiled.
“Do you have any children?” Brenda asked Mrs.
“No, I never did, I always wanted at least
three. That’s always been the number I’ve had in my mind, since I
was a little girl. They just never arrived from heaven, but
someday, I’ll see them. I do have my ‘other’ children.
My dear sweet husband would present me with a
doll at Christmas and my birthday and any other holiday that came
along. One year he placed three of them in a large basket, all
wrapped up in beautiful paper with tissue inside. The most
beautiful dolls I’ve ever seen. I never knew where he found them,
but I’ve always taken great care of them, like they were my real
“That’s just the most wonderful story I’ve
ever heard. You must have a very loving husband.” Brenda said
patting Ruth’s hand.
“Yes, he was. Unfortunately he died several
years ago.” Ruth said looking up at the podium.
“Well ladies, let’s begin. I have a film for
all of us to watch, afterwards, we’ll comment on what we’ve seen.”
The Pastor’s wife Connie announced.
The room darkened and the ladies settled back
to watch the film.
“We have a new girl to start the new school
year children. Let’s welcome her, what’s your name dear?” Mrs. Bond
“Amy Sheaffer.” She said shyly in front of
the class of children.
“Welcome Amy.” They all yelled and then
“All right, now find a seat Amy, and we’ll
begin.” Her teacher said.
As Amy walked past Heather and her friend
Jenny, Heather put her foot out to trip her, but she sidestepped it
and was out of her reach.
“Welcome Amy.” Jenny said and narrowed her
eyes at her.
“Hello.” Amy responded.
“Hey Amy, come sit with us.” Misty yelled
from the back of the room.
Amy, relieved, went back to her new friend
Misty who had saved her a seat.
Finally seated, with a sigh of relief, Amy
looked at Misty and nodded her thanks.
“Hi.” A tousled haired boy said.
“Hi.” Amy said back.
“That’s Billy.” Misty whispered. “He’s one of
“All right class, let’s settle down and open
the math books on your desks.”
And so the fall school term had started. The
children resumed their friendships, some they hadn’t seen since
school let out; while others happily met new friends and still
others decided what classmates they would pester and bully this
term, for no earthly reason.
Brenda felt good about the day. After the
women’s Bible study, Mrs. Shepherd asked her to come back to her
house and see her dolls.
Brenda was reluctant at first, with so many
things she still had to do to get her family settled into their new
house. But she relented and was so glad afterwards she did.
Mrs. Shepherd had the most warm and friendly
home. Brenda was struck at first to see the simple childish colors
and decorations throughout the living room and kitchen of the
house. The planks in the floor of the living room were painted a
beautiful pale blue with scattered braided rugs that matched the
scheme of the room. An overstuffed, flowered sofa with matching
chairs on either side was positioned in front of the fireplace,
which was painted a beautiful off white satin. The wallpaper on the
living room walls was of pale pink and white stripes, very subtle,
but the perfect accent to the room.