A Gift in Dark Blue: A True Story

Christmas 1945
Spring Arbor, Michigan

In the box of wrapping paper from last Christmas, I found a dark blue piece with white stars.

Little Tom would love it.

I peeled off last year’s scotch tape and watched how big sister Mimi wrapped hers. I folded the paper over Tom’s gift to show the stars and then tucked in the extra inches like Mimi did, so we could wrap another gift in this same blue paper next Christmas. I taped it all closed.


I laid it on the pile of gifts and followed big brother Bob out to the field behind the barn. I watched him cut a tree. I even helped him knock snow off the branches and drag it onto the back porch.

He nailed on a base and stood the tree over the bare spot in the middle of our carpet. He draped it with lights and plugged them in.

I set the blue-wrapped gift under the branches, and their cold fell on my arms.

Mimi and Birdie, my not-as-big sister, brought out clear glass balls painted in lines of light blue and frosty white. They poked tiny wires in them and hooked them over the branches. Then they hung thin strips of tinfoil over the high branches while I dangled it from those I could reach.

Every night I lay on the floor and watched the glow. Our tree was the most beautiful tree in the whole world.

When Mother said bedtime, I checked the pile under the tree for Tom’s gift in dark blue. Then I crawled up the stairs and under the covers.

Christmas morning we crowded around the tree and one by one unwrapped each gift until the only package under the tree was dark blue scattered with stars.

Birdie picked it up. “Who’s this for?”

I sat up straight. “Tom.”

“Tom Who?”

“Little Tom.”

“Who is ‘Little Tom’?”

“You know. Little Tom of Bethlehem!”


Guest post by Dave Parks

Please leave a comment.  Click on the title above, “A Gift in Dark Blue: a True Story,” and then scroll down.  Thank you!  🙂

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

outstanding top quality

Any Dohmen
4 years ago

Haha! What an unexpected ending! Too cute!

4 years ago

That’s hilarious. I love how children learn to make sense out of what doesn’t seem to make sense.

Patti Shene
4 years ago

What an awesome story! Love it!

4 years ago

Perfect! Through a child’s eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Gwen Gage
4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Dave! I was expecting a sad memory behind Tom’s gift and didn’t anticipate that laugh. Hilarious! Love this peek back into the forties. 🙂

4 years ago

We lived in the Robinson house at the corner of Matthews Road and M-60. My sister Birdie told me this story, and Mimi said she was right.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x