Sammy receives a box to take on his Christmas trip. What will he find in his surprise box?
The Magic Box
Excitement filled the dining room, while Daddy finished loading the van. Mommy stood in front of a huge box sitting on the table all wrapped up and she was holding a letter in her hand.
I stood on my tiptoes trying to see, “What’s it say? What’s it say?”
“It isn’t addressed to me. Why don’t you open it and find out.” She handed me the envelope. I was on cloud nine. I never get mail to open. I looked at the envelope; sure enough it was addressed to me! My very own piece of mail! It even had a stamp!
I turned the envelope over and slowly lifted the flap. Sparkly glitter filled the air as I pulled the card out. I opened it, and heard the card read itself to me. “Hey Sammy, I heard you were taking a trip this Christmas. I know traveling can be hard when you don’t have anything to do. So some of my coworkers and I fixed this box for you. I hope you enjoy your trip to your Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to see them. I'm really looking forward to seeing them again. I’ll see you soon.”
“Well, who is it from?”
“I don’t know, he didn’t say.”
“He?" She looked at me questioningly. "Sammy, I didn’t hear anything, who sent the card and the box?”
“I don’t know,” I showed Mommy the card. There was a beautiful picture of a snowman and reindeer, but no words written on it at all. “You didn’t hear it?”
“Nope, honey I didn’t hear anything. I saw some glitter and…” She looked around on the floor, “Well, I thought I saw some glitter, I thought I’d have to sweep the floor before we left." She shook her head, "Now that’s really strange.” She turned and walked over to the door.
Daddy was just walking in, “Is there room for my box?” I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head.
“Sammy, it’s huge. I don’t think there is room.”
“But, Daddy,” I whined, “he said it was for me on the trip.”
“I’m not sure.” I looked at the card and envelope in my hand.
Mommy shrugged her shoulders, and Daddy sighed, “Well, let’s see if I can make it fit between the seats. I ran and hugged my Daddy’s knees so tight, I was kind of scared that he might fall on top of me, but he never does.
He laughed and mussed with my hair, just like he always does. “Come on, let’s get started.”
He grabbed the box, and pulled it from the middle of the table. “What’s in this thing? It weighs a ton!”
It must have been really heavy. I saw him strain and he grunted just like when he works with the weights. By the time he reached the car his head had even started to sweat!
Daddy looked at Mommy, “What did you put in there?”
Mommy had a puzzled look on her face, “I didn’t do it. The box and card were on the table this morning. I thought you’d done it.”
“Not me, did Mom come by? Maybe she did it.” Mommy shook her head from side to side as she put her pocketbook and jacket into the car.
“Climb up, Sammy. Let’s get you strapped in. May I look at your card?” Daddy said as I crawled into my seat.
I handed him the card and he looked at it, front, inside and back, and then slid it back into the envelope. There weren’t any glittery sparkles and I didn’t hear the kind man’s message like when I opened it. Daddy had one of those strange looks on his face, like when he’s trying to figure out something. He slid the card back into the envelope and handed it back to me and checked my buckles on my car seat. He smiled and mussed my hair again, and said those wonderful words that always start our trips. “And away…. we….” He slides the car door shut, “go!”
He climbed in and started the van; Mommy turned around and smiled at me. Everybody was excited to be going to see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa for Christmas. Grandma and Grandpa, all of the aunts and uncles, and all of my cousins were going to be there this Christmas. It was going to be so much fun. Getting there, well I knew it was going to be a long time sitting in my car seat, that wasn’t going to be so much fun.
I watched out the van window, and Mommy decided to play license tag games. Sometimes we’d add up the numbers. Sometimes we’d make crazy sentences up with the letters. Sometimes we’d see how many different states we’d see, but after a while I got bored.
“Sammy, why don’t you see what’s in the box,” Mommy said, she smiled and winked at me.
“Okay.” I reached over and ripped the paper back. There was that sparkly glitter again. I saw Daddy’s eyes watching in the mirror. I could tell he was grinning, the way he had crinkles around his eyes.
I pulled the top open and peeked in. I couldn’t see much. I stuck my hand in, grabbed something and pulled it out. It was a book! I pulled the book into my lap and opened it. More sparkly glitter and the man’s voice again. I turned to the first page, and he started reading the story to me. The pictures seemed to come to life while he read. I sat mesmerized as the gentle voice told me the Christmas story.
Daddy pulled over and stopped the car just as the story finished. I closed my book and placed it gently back in the box. “Daddy wasn’t that great!”
“The man, he read the Christmas story to me. Wasn’t it great?”
“Uh, I didn’t hear anything Sammy.”
I reached back into the box and pulled out the book and handed it to Daddy. He looked at it, front, back and all the pages in between. “This is a really nice book, but I don’t hear anything.”
I wondered what was going on.
We ate a quick lunch and walked around for a little bit before climbing back into the van. “How much farther?”
Mommy looked at her watch, and smiled back at me, “We’ll be there by bedtime.”
“Bedtime!?” I sighed as I fell into my car seat. I fastened my buckles, and Daddy checked them again.
“Why don’t you see what else is in that box, Buddy. It was a lot heavier than that one book.” He laughed and mussed my hair as my hand sank into the opening. I felt around and pulled out a little box with earbuds.
“Hey, that looks really cool, Buddy. Wonder what’s on it.”
I placed the earbuds in my ears and looked for an on/ off button on the little black box. I looked up at Daddy, and asked him if he knew how to start it. He looked all over, and scratched his head, “That’s strange; I don’t see a switch either.”
He handed the box back to me, and started to slide the door closed. Sparkly glitter floated around my hands, “Just say, ‘Turn on’,” piped in through my earbuds.
“Turn on.” I waited and listened. The box turned on! It played “Over the River, and Through the Woods.” I sang along. Then other songs I’d learned in school and Sunday school played and played. It was the best music! It started playing lullabies, and I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew Daddy was pulling off the highway again.
“Where are we now?” I stretched and yawned as Daddy unfastened my buckles.
“Getting closer, Buddy. I just needed a stretch break. I thought we’d walk around here, take a little breather from being in the car. I’ll see if I can figure out how to turn you MP3 player on.”
“Oh, all I had to do was say ‘Turn on.’ It played and played. Didn’t you hear me singing along?”
“I heard you singing a couple of songs, then next thing I knew you were sound asleep.”
“It plays the best songs!” I gently slid it back into the box and climbed out of the car.
It was getting colder the further we traveled. Mommy made me put my jacket on, before we started walking around. There were lots of other people traveling; they were all bundled up too.
One family had a puppy with them. I love dogs. I asked if I could pet him. They said yes. The little boy told me that the puppy’s name was Bingo. I laughed, “I just listened to that song!” We started singing together. It was a lot of fun, but it ended way too soon. Daddy said it was time to get back on the road; we still had a long way to go to get to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house. I told Bingo and his kid good bye and climbed back into the car seat.
“And away… we…go.” The door slid shut once again. I reached into my box; I was excited to see what I would find this time. I grabbed hold of something that felt like a puzzle box. I pulled it out. Mommy was looking to see what it was. The box was plain on the outside. It didn’t give me any clues about what was inside. I put the box on my lap, and slowly opened the lid. I laughed when I saw what was inside.
“What is it, Sammy?” Mommy asked.
I pulled it out and put it on my hand, holding it up for her to see.
“Oh my, that is a beautiful snow globe. Be careful with it. They’re very fragile.”
I turned the globe upside down and shook it before I turned it right side up again. There was that sparkly glitter again. I looked in the globe. It was a snowman and reindeer, just like the ones that were on the card! I watched the snow falling on the little scene, and then all of the sudden the snowman started to dance! The reindeer bounded a couple of times and started to fly around the globe. I gasped and just about dropped the snow globe. Mommy must have seen me, because she made a grab for it and kept it from crashing onto the floor of the van.
“Shake it up, Mommy and watch. It’s amazing! The snowman does a dance.”
Mommy turned the snow globe over and turned it right side up. The snow fell, but the snowman didn’t dance and the reindeer didn’t fly.
“Now Sammy!” She had that serious you’d better tell me the truth look on her face.
“It really did, Mommy.”
Mommy looked over at Daddy with that same look she gave me. He shrugged his shoulders. Then she handed the snow globe back and reminded me to be very careful with such a nice gift.
I watched the snowman and his friend the reindeer play in the snow globe for a long time. I don’t know why Mommy couldn't see it.
We finally stopped for dinner. “Last stop, until we get to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house,” Daddy hollered.
He smiled as he opened the door, and gave a really big stretch. “Chick-fil-a for dinner, does it suit you?”
We ate supper quickly and quietly. I was tired of being in my car seat, but bedtime wasn’t far away so I knew that Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house wasn’t too much farther.
I was excited. Christmas was going to be so much fun. I know my cousins and I are going to have fun with all of the stuff I’ve been finding in my box. I can’t wait to show Suzie the book. She loves books. I know Randy will love the MP3 player. He can really sing a whole lot better than me. Grandma will love the snow globe. She loves everything about snowmen. I just know she’ll see what it can really do, even if Mommy can’t.
One last time, Daddy shut the door to the van, “And…away… we… go.”
The sun was going down and it had gotten much colder outside. It didn’t take long for the van to get nice and cozy. I reached into the box and pulled out what looked like a little camping lantern. I turned it on, a soft gently glow illuminated the back seat of the van. The globe of the lantern wasn’t clear. It looked like someone had painted on the glass. The glass started to slowly spin around. It looked like Grandpa’s woodshop. There were people working at the tables. They were making something. I kept watching as the globe kept spinning around. All of the sudden, a face looked back at me from inside the globe. He had twinkly eyes, and a cherry nose, and dimples just like mine. He had a beard, and a moustache, and wiggly eyebrows. He winked at me then he waved!
I kept watching. He put his finger to his lips like he was telling me to be quiet. He motioned like he wanted me to come on and keep up, just like Daddy does when he's in a hurry. I kept watching hoping he wouldn’t get too far ahead of me. He put on his coat and scarf and walked outdoors. It was snowing. He walked over to a shed and stopped to look back at me. With a big swing of his arm, he signaled we were going inside. There were the reindeer hooked up to the big sleigh. Elves were so busy running around loading down the sleigh. He waved and climbed aboard. I watched him take it for a spin, three times around the barn. He sat it down and the elves scurried around checking everything out.
He left the sleigh and walked closer. He was so close; I thought I could touch him. “I’ll see you soon!” and the picture faded from the glass.
I put the lantern back into the box. I looked out the window. I sighed and wondered how much further. I was really tired of sitting in this car seat.
Snow shimmered on the ground in the moonlight. I started singing, ‘Over the river and through the woods, To Great Grandmother’s House we go. The horse knows the way, to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow…” Mommy joined in as we pulled into the driveway. I saw Great Grandma’s front porch light shining and the front door open. Great Grandma stood at the top of the steps waving a kitchen towel at us with a great big smile.
I stretched as Daddy unfastened my buckles. “I’m so glad we’re here!”
“Me too, Buddy, me too!”
I ran through the snow, up onto the front porch and right into Great Grandma’s bear hug that was waiting for me. She shooed me inside, "A special friend stopped by for a visit. Go on in, he's over by the fireplace."
The Christmas tree was decorated and someone was putting a big package underneath. He stood up, turned around and looked right at me. His wiggly eyebrows, his twinkly eyes, his cherry nose, I knew exactly who it was. I ran and grabbed him around the knees. He mussed up my hair and laughed. I almost thought he was going to fall on me, but he didn’t. He sat down on the rocking chair and patted his lap. I jumped up and hugged his neck. “Well, how was your trip? Did my box do the trick?”
His eyes sparkled in the fire light, eagerly anticipating my answer. “Oh yes, sir! I had the best trip ever!”
Grandma called from the kitchen.
“You best be getting along now. Your cousins are all in there decorating the cookies. Make sure they save some for me!” He winked and chuckled as I slid off his lap.
I winked back at him as I ran into the kitchen, “Yes sir, I’ll make sure you have plenty tomorrow night!”
He gently laughed as I ran out of sight. “I’m sure you will, Sammy. I’m sure you will.”
My cousins and I were busy decorating the cookies, when we heard jingling bells outside. We all ran to see what was going on. Mommy and Daddy, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa, and all my aunts and uncles stood on the porch waving as he drove his sleigh out of sight. “Merry Christmas to all and I’ll see you soon!”