Amanda loved so many things, but most of all she loved shoes. Every time she received a gift it was a new pair of shoes, boots, sneakers or slippers. All of her uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends would send her gifts of shoes. Her mother would take her shopping for new shoes when school started or when she had a special party to attend.
Amanda had shoes in every style, color and design imaginable. She had loafers with pennies in the pockets, and running shoes with blue and white shoelaces. She had slippers for bedtime that were fuzzy with faces of puppies on the toes. Amanda had many pairs of party shoes fit for a princess. She had fancy shoes in patent leather. She had black ones, red ones, blue ones and white ones. She had purple shoes with blue bows on the straps. Her colorful sneakers were in every kind of design. Some of them even had flashing lights on the soles. She called her favorite fancy shoes her twinkling Christmas slippers. They were beautiful red slippers that glittered in the light. They had Christmas trees on the toes and little white presents with red ribbons and bows that danced around the shoes. They were trimmed in red satin ribbon and a green bow sat at the front of each slipper.
One day, Amanda’s mother said that they were going shopping in the city for Christmas presents. Once they were there, they stopped in all the fancy shops. When they were finished, they went to have lunch in a favorite restaurant. As they were walking towards the restaurant, Amanda noticed something special. There on the corner amongst all the shoppers, sat a lady with her little girl. They were wearing old tattered clothes and the mother was begging for money. The little girl was wearing shoes that were much too big for her small feet. Amanda’s heart ached for the little girl. Amanda’s mother stopped and gave the woman some money for her collection plate. She didn’t say a word to Amanda as she continued to walk toward the train station. Amanda noticed that tears had welled up in her mother’s eyes. She didn’t ask her mom why she was crying because she felt sad for them too.
Amanda and her mother returned home with their presents. As Amanda wrapped her gifts, she could not stop thinking about how many shoes that she had and how that little girl only had big ugly shoes to wear. Amanda went to her closet and took down the Christmas slippers off the shelf. She loved this pair the most and thought how the little girl might feel wearing these pretty shoes instead.
At breakfast the next morning Amanda asked her mother if she could give a Christmas present to the little girl that they had seen the day before. Amanda’s mother smiled, and told her that giving from your heart was the true meaning of Christmas. She agreed to take Amanda back into the city, so that she could give the little girl a Christmas present. Amanda wrapped the slippers in her best wrapping paper.
The next day they went back to the city and found the spot where they had been the first time that they had visited the city.The little girl glanced at Amanda and put her head down in shame. Amanda knelt down and placed the present in the little girl’s lap. The little girl looked down at the gift and then looked up at Amanda’s face and smiled. The little girl hugged the box as if it were her favorite stuffed animal. The mother of the little girl smiled warmly at Amanda and her mother. Again Amanda’s mother placed money in the woman’s collection plate.
All the way home, Amanda smiled. She felt so warm inside. Several days passed and Amanda’s mother arrived at her bedroom door and said “Amanda, I have a few more last minute errands to run in the city tomorrow, would you like to join me?” Amanda was thrilled “Oh yes Mommy”, she said.
That day it was a cold day and Amanda wore a red coat and green velvet hat and pants. Amanda had a furry scarf tied around her neck and pink mittens to keep her hands warm. She had her tall black boots on just in case it snowed. When they got into the city, they went to a big department store and bought Amanda’s father a blue tie. They stopped in many small shops and then had lunch in a fun restaurant. Seated at the counter, a real toy train carrying their food stopped right in front of them, letting them slide their plate off the little car. Just before they were to leave for home, Amanda asked if they could see the little girl one more time. Amanda’s mother was pleased to say yes.
They walked several blocks passed store windows decorated for Christmas. She could not wait to see her new friend. As they approached the corner, Amanda could see the little girl. She did not have her head down in shame today. There she sat alongside her mom wearing a great big smile. She clapped her shoes together so that the Christmas trees twinkled more brightly in the sun. She looked up at Amanda and the love shone back at her. Amanda thought that the shoes fit her perfectly and that they seemed to twinkle even more brightly than before.
Amanda’s Christmas was divine. There were lots of presents underneath the tree. Of course on Christmas morning she had received several pairs of new shoes. Aunt Kitty gave her a pair of fuzzy knee high boots to wear after skiing. Uncle Charlie gave her a pair of blue cowboy boots. Her mother and father bought her a lovely pair of white ice skates with pink laces and pompoms. Although Amanda was thrilled with the sight of all the presents, it was the pair that she could no longer wear that brought her the most joy that Christmas Day. Her heart felt so warm every time she remembered the little girl and her twinkling Christmas slippers.