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YULETIDE STORY FOR YOUNG READERS

The sweetest Christmas ever

/ 06:10 AM November 29, 2014
 illustration by nastasha verayo


Illustration by Nastasha Verayo

Months before Christmas, the chocolate factory in town was doubly busy making boxes and boxes of chocolates in different shapes, sizes and flavors. In a house not very far from the factory lived Sharene, or Share to her family and friends. She loved chocolates very much!

Her dad worked at the chocolate factory, and she always looked forward to the box of chocolates he’d bring home every Christmas eve.

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Share had never been inside the factory, but the stories her dad told her every time he came home from work never failed to amaze her.

She imagined chocolate flowing like a river inside the factory. It reminded her of her favorite movie, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”—how she wished she could get inside and eat every chocolate and candy she could get her hands on!

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Share was able to taste the factory’s best chocolates every Christmas eve, when factory workers were given a box to take home to their families. As December approached, her dad would come home late, because of the extra hours he needed to spend at work. He was so tired that Share never heard stories about the new flavors the factory had come up with, or what toy it would be inside the yearly Christmas Chocolate Special—a special box of chocolates that kids in town were most excited about!

One day, while Share and her mom were busy putting up Christmas décor in the house, she remembered the Christmas project her teacher gave them: All Grade 4 students were asked to make a poster with the theme, “How Will I Make My Christmas Meaningful?”

Share had always been good at drawing. She collected all the colorful chocolate boxes her dad brought home every year and, in them, were crayons, poster paints, pens and other art supplies.

But, she wished she had a Christmas Chocolate Special box, because it was bigger and featured a different artwork every year! The toy that came with it also got her excited. Last year, it was a teddy bear with a Santa hat!

Every year, Share and her friends waited for this special box on the window display of the chocolate store where the factory was. She had wanted one ever since, but she knew it was expensive, and only the regular chocolate box was given to each factory worker every year.

Share thought hard about what she was going to draw on her poster. She still had three weeks before the deadline.

One night at dinner, Share asked her father: “Dad, could you please tell me what toy it will be inside the Christmas Chocolate Special this year? I promise I won’t tell anyone.”

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Her dad smiled. “I wish I could tell you, Share, but I don’t know what it’s going to be. —Usually, by this time, boxes with the new design would have been delivered to the factory, and we’d start packing the chocolates and the toy inside the box. But, there aren’t any special boxes yet!”

“Do you think there’ll be no Christmas Chocolate Special this year?,” asked Share.

“I sure hope not,” her Dad sighed.

Share was able to finish her project days before the deadline. She showed it to her parents.

“Wow—this is very good!,” they chorused.

It was red, with drawings of Christmas tree-shaped chocolates and yellow letters that read: “Share Chocolates. Share Love!”

“Since my name is Share, I want kids to know the importance of sharing—because when you share, you show love,” she explained—and her parents were so proud of her!

Submission day of the project came, and everyone in Share’s class was busy showing their posters to one another when their adviser, Miss Ana, entered the room and announced: “The best poster will get a very special prize!” The students clapped in excitement as they submitted their posters.

The following day, when Share came to school, the principal instructed them to proceed to the multipurpose hall. They were surprised to see some of the posters they made displayed on the stage.

Everybody got excited . . . except Share. Her poster was not one of them! The principal introduced a special guest. The guest spoke:

Owner

“Good morning, students. I am Mr. Bocobo, the owner of the chocolate factory. I’m sure you all know about our Christmas Chocolate Special. Every year, we feature a different Christmas artwork in our box—and, this year, I’m happy to announce that I’ve chosen one of the posters you have submitted!” —Cheers erupted!

“The poster I’ve chosen to be showcased in this year’s Christmas Special Box is by… Sharene!,” Mr. Bocobo declared, as he unrolled Share’s poster and showed it to the applauding crowd.

It was the happiest day for Share, and her parents were very proud of her achievement! Not only did she get to see her artwork on the chocolate box, but she also got 10 boxes of the Christmas Chocolate Special that came with art supplies that she shared with her cousins and friends. And, finally, she got to tour the chocolate factory together with her parents!

It was, indeed, the sweetest and “chocolatiest” Christmas Share had ever had!

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