One morning, Jacky-Jack woke up to something he’d never seen before. The ground was covered in cold, soft, white stuff, and it seemed to be falling from the sky.
He quickly bounced inside to tell the gardener what he discovered.
“Hey gardener!” Said Jacky-Jack, “Come look, it’s raining ice cream!”
The gardener followed Jacky-Jack to the back door, and looked through the glass; “Well Jacky-Jack” she started, “It’s not exactly ice cream, but it is cold and wet like ice cream. This is called snow, it’s when it gets cold enough outside to turn the small water droplets into tiny crystals clumped together”.
“Wow! Snoooooooow” said Jacky-Jack in awe and wonder, as he looked up at the sky to try to figure out where it was coming from. Then he sensed a glow shining into the kitchen where he was sitting. It was coming from the living room, and as he turned around to look, he saw a tree in the living room with pretty silver and red ornaments on it, the tree was also sparkling with white and green Christmas lights.
“Whoa!” Said Jacky-Jack, “You sure are a nice gardener!”
The gardener laughed and asked, “What makes you say that Jacky-Jack? Because I decorated a tree for you?”
“No” Said Jacky-Jack, “because it’s so cold outside, you brought that poor tree in to warm it up” said Jacky-Jack.
“Why yes” said the gardener, “that was pretty nice of me”, and then she smiled and went back to putting some more Christmas lights up around the window.
Jacky-Jack sensed that she was teasing him somehow, so he just looked at her and waited for the real answer. When the gardener noticed him waiting, she decided to explain it better.
“Actually Jacky-Jack, this is a Christmas tree, and we are going to keep it up all month until Christmas comes”
“Oh boy!” Shouted Jacky-Jack excitedly, “I’ve heard about Christmas, and I already know what I want…”
“A bag of dirt?” asked the gardener.
“Hey, how did you know!?” Jacky-Jack was genuinely surprised for some reason. He seemed to forget that he always asks for dirt, every day, it’s what pumpkins do.
“Isn’t that what you always want, Jacky-Jack?” asked the gardener in a matter-of-fact kind of way.
Jacky-Jack just smiled. It wasn’t just the presents, but the decorations were fun to look at, and the music the gardener had put on was fun and lively. This was going to be Jacky-Jack’s best Christmas ever! …. It was also his first Christmas ever. Then Jacky-Jack heard a soft knock at the door.
“It’s not even 9 in the morning” said the gardener, “I wonder who that could be at the door this early in the day”.
Jacky-Jack watched as the gardener checked through the window, and then opened the door. The gardener smiled.
“Hi Tim” she said. Tim was a tiny pumpkin, but not quite as tiny as Jacky-Jack. He wasn’t quite circle either, he had a flat underside, and when he bounced, it was really more of a scootch-bounce. I guess you could say that’s a pumpkin that has a limp.
“My gardener got hurt really bad, and my neighbor told me that her family came, and took her to the hospital because they had to leave right away, but I was playing with Gabriel at the park when they left, and I didn’t know they were leaving. I think I forgot to tell her where I was” said Tim, a little embarrassed that he forgot to say where he was going. “Can I stay with you until they come back, please? It’s very cold outside.” Tim finally asked.
“Of course” Said the gardener, “come on in Tim!”
Jacky-Jack smiled too, he always enjoyed meeting new pumpkins, especially if they’re about his size, and might like to play with him later.
“Would you like some breakfast Tim?” Asked the gardener.
“Oh yes please” said Tim, “I left with Gabriel to play at the park before I had my breakfast, and I’m starving now!”
“Help yourself” the gardener said, as she handed him a bowl of dirt, “By the way” she inquired, “Did you make sure Gabriel got home safe? He is such a young, little pumpkin you know”
“Yes” said Tim, “I took him home first, my mom always has me take him home before I go home, because he’s not very old yet”
“That’s a good idea” said the gardener, “How do you like your dirt?”
“It’s delithious!” Said Tim in between mouthfuls.
The gardener called the hospital to check on Tim’s gardener, and to tell her where Tim was, but Tim’s gardener wasn’t going to be coming home very soon, so Jacky-Jack’s gardener explained that she’d watch over Tim until they returned. Tim ended up staying with Jacky-Jack and the gardener all that month because his gardener was still in the hospital. On Christmas Eve, the gardener would read Christmas stories to all the pumpkins and other plants from her garden.
After the Christmas stories were over, they watched some Christmas specials on the TV. They watched Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. After the Christmas specials, Jacky-Jack exclaimed,
“I’m so excited for Christmas Tim! Do you want to guess what I’m getting?”
“A bowl of dirt?” Asked Tim.
“Exactly!” Said Jacky-Jack, “How did you know that!!?”
“It’s your favorite” Said Tim, “You always love to eat your dirt”
“And that’s not all” added the gardener, “I have a few more surprises for you as well, but for now it’s off to bed”.
As Tim and Jacky-Jack dozed off to sleep, they had very different dreams; Jacky-Jack dreamed about his dirt, I guess that’s pretty normal for a pumpkin, but Tim dreamed about being with his family again since he hadn’t seen them for a long time.
Before the sun came up the next morning, Jacky-Jack was already nudging Tim awake.
“Guess what Tim!? It’s Christmas morning!” smiled Jacky-Jack with a big, huge smile. He was so excited, he thought he would just burst!
Tim smiled as he followed Jacky-Jack down the hall, without his gardener, it was harder for Tim to stand the cold like Jacky-Jack, gardeners have a special way of keeping their plants warm with a lot of love. So for Tim’s sake, they both slept inside in the room next to the gardener’s while Tim was with them.
Jacky-Jack’s eyes lit up as he began to see the faint lights from the Christmas tree around the corner at the end of the hall.
“Look Tim!” Shouted Jacky-Jack, “It’s my bag of dirt!” He got a fresh bag of dirt next to his stocking, just waiting for him. It wasn’t a bowl, but a bag made more sense so that Jacky-Jack could take it into the Kitchen without spilling.
Suddenly Tim’s eyes lighted up as well, he couldn’t believe what he saw! In the nighttime, after the boys were asleep, the gardener had been working on something special for Tim, it was his own stocking with the words “Merry Christmas Tim” sewn on it. Tim didn’t know why, but he started to cry a little when he thought about how happy he felt, it was a happy cry, not the sad kind. Tim couldn’t stop laughing, he was so excited to get his own stocking, even though his gardener was away. And what’s more is that next to Tim’s new stocking was a bag of dirt just for him!
“YES!!” declared Tim, “This?… Is the best Christmas ever!!!”
When Jacky-Jack saw how happy Tim was to receive a nice Christmas gift from the gardener, he felt good inside, and he wanted to give Tim something too. Jacky-Jack had three presents, his bag of dirt by the stocking, and two under the tree that he didn’t know what they were yet, and he didn’t care, he just wanted to give one to Tim, so he did.
“Here Tim” Said Jacky-Jack, “I want you to have this one, it’s from me.”
“Thank you Jacky-Jack! What is it!?” Asked Tim.
“Open it up and find out” said Jacky-Jack, he didn’t even know anyway.
Tim opened the present, and it was a little pumpkin-sized blanket that had “Jacky-Jack” stitched into it.
Both little pumpkins laughed, and then Jacky-Jack said,
“So yeah, um, that’s so you’ll be warm while your gardener is getting better, and after you take it home, It’ll be like I’m still with you! Friends forever!”
“Are you sure it wasn’t just because your gardener made it for you?” asked Tim somewhat suspicious of Jacky-Jack’s explanation, as he gave him a small smile, and a raised his eyebrow.
Jacky-Jack looked up at the gardener to see what she’d say, and she smiled, and then looked into Tim’s little pumpkin eyes, and said,
“Well I had made the blanket for Jacky-Jack, that’s why his name is on it, but that also means that Jacky-Jack can choose to give it away if he wants to. Besides, to have a nice, little pumpkin who wants to share, and make others happy, is better than any present.”
Then she looked at Jacky-Jack, “Thank you for sharing your things Jacky-Jack, it makes me happy to see you thinking of others, and I think that is a big part of having the best Christmas Ever.”
The gardener, and the two little pumpkins did have the best Christmas ever, as they ate, sang Christmas songs together, and played games. Later that night, they received good news from the hospital; Tim’s gardener was doing better, and she was going to be coming home soon!
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, and Jacky-Jack learned that the joy of giving, and the joy of receiving both make a Christmas day, the best ever.
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