The natives were restless that afternoon. Running around their primitive structures with wild abandon, screaming unintelligible words that caused my blood to curdle. Plumes of dirt puffed up from under their stomping feet as they danced around me with jerky movements that made no sense.
Dread flooded my heart.
As the group circled around I recognized one of them. I’d known him for two years and he’d shown me mercy in the past. I reached out a hand but he ignored me, caught up in the energy of the ritual.
Behind him a girl caught my attention and we made eye contact. For a second we were connected and I thought—hoped–I had another chance to escape this madness. My hopes were dashed when she opened her mouth to let out a shriek that sent shivers up my spine. Turning on her heels, she ran in the opposite direction and the others followed, crashing into one another as they righted themselves with the new rotation.
I looked around at the other parents and a collective sigh escaped us. It was going to be a long day at the playground.
There was only one gift under the tree.
Wrapped in shimmering gold paper and tied with a sparkling red bow, it was a package unlike any other the children had ever seen and they wondered, Was it for them?
The bravest among them stepped forward to lift the lid and when she did a rainbow slipped out; its light swirling and curling around the children’s heads. Music from a thousand instruments floated out with the light; each playing its own special song but blending together so beautifully. All the children crowded around to look inside and what they found was magic.
A beautiful orb floated weightlessly in the center of the box and as it spun slowly around a million stories were revealed to the children…
Big boys and girls who explore secret worlds,
Kings and queens and dinosaur things.
Wizards and witches, fairies and gnomes,
Faraway places like Paris and Rome…
Big and small, these stories had all…
…except someone to read them to the children. Will it be you?
This Christmas I encourage you to give a magical gift to a child by reading to them. It just may be their most special moment of the season.