This is a story of twelve-year-old old Ryan, who has a Christmas to remember.


The quaint, little bookshop was exuding the festive warmth. The smell of coffee and plum cakes wafted through the evening air. There were tea-lights kept at every shelf. The place was beautifully lit-up. Ryan pushed open the glass door of the shop and, for a moment, was left admiring the Christmas décor of the shop. His cherished book store took a beautiful turn around this time every year. It was his favourite time of the year as well- the nip in the air, the happy faces of people around, the Christmas vacation at school, and the prospect of beginning afresh in the soon-to-dawn new year pleased him.

He stepped inside, put his bag in the rack, and walked straight up to the shelf containing his much-loved, Roald Dahl books.

He had been saving his pocket money to buy Christmas presents for himself. He had even made a list of the books he badly wanted to read since summer. He had read a snippet of one of Roald Dahl’s stories in his English textbook, and had wanted to read all his work since then. After purchasing those long-desired novels, he placed the stack carefully in his bag and left for home.

On reaching home, as he placed the books on his table, his mother peeped inside the room and asked him to come and have hot chocolate with the others. He decided to admire the books at night and excitedly went downstairs. He lived in a small house with his parents, an elder brother and grandparents. He shared his room with his brother upstairs- that was once an attic. They lived on a meagre income and both his parents worked hard to make both ends meet. His elder brother, Joe, was still in high school. As he sat sipping the hot chocolate drink, he elatedly told his family about what he got himself for Christmas. He ran into the kitchen and asked his mother about what she was planning to get for his grandparents. She smiled kindly and disclosed that there would be no gifts for anyone this year, as they were running short of money. He went and sat in the living room, enjoying the hot drink and cookies with the rest of the family, but couldn’t stop thinking about what his mother had just told him.

That night he kept looking at his new books on the table. He had no more pocket money left.

After a restless night, he woke up early next day and helped his mother with the chores. He told her he was going to be out in the afternoon.

It was Christmas Eve and the small house was decorated to fit the season. There were a few special dishes to be prepared for Christmas day. The smell of cookies and cakes filled the house. As the family left for church, Ryan informed them that he would take a few more minutes to get ready and asked them all to carry on. When the family woke up the next day, they were pleasantly surprised to find beautifully-wrapped packaged beside each of them. There was a beautiful key-chain for his brother, a gorgeous scarf for grandma, a muffler for grandpa, a pen stand for his papa, and a pretty, little purse for his mother. Everyone gathered in the hall room with their gifts, Ryan was in smiles. He had returned all of his new books and bought gifts for all of them.

He had realised that Christmas was all about giving, caring and sharing.

Later in the evening, the family collected whatever little money was there to spare, and secretly fetched Ryan one of those books he had returned to the bookshop, which he found under his pillow at bedtime. His happiness knew no bounds. It was truly a merry Christmas for them all.