Sam squirmed awkwardly in the pew. Why did his mom make him do this every year? Didn’t she realize that he was almost 12? And on Christmas Eve at that! There were so many things Sam would like to be doing. Sitting on a hard wooden bench listening to some old man talk about angels and shepherds was most certainly not one of them.
Oh good, it was time to sing again. At least this way he could stand up and move around a bit, even if he refused to sing these songs. They were so boring! To pass the time Sam started trying to guess what that big box under the tree at home might have in it.
Up at the front the sermon was starting. Sam got as comfortable as possible and decided to have a little sleep. But something caught his attention. Way at the back he saw a young woman curled up on the floor sleeping. Her coat was torn and thin. Curled up beside her was a little girl, about 2 years old. The little girl looked bored, and like she was going to cry, so Sam quietly snuck out of his seat and crept to the back.
“Hi, my name is Sam,” he said, sitting down on the floor beside her. The girl smiled back at him but didn’t say anything. Sam sat there and played with her for the rest of the service. While they played he heard the minister drone on about the true meaning of Christmas. The minister said that the real importance of Christmas wasn’t necessarily about the Christmas story. He said it was about each of us trying to share the light of Christmas with the people we meet.
After the service Sam’s mother came and told him it was time to go. As they all walked out of the church the little girl broke out of her mother’s grasp and ran over to give Sam a great big hug and a kiss. Suddenly Sam felt a strange feeling of warmth wash over him. He bent down and gave her a hug too. “Merry Christmas,” he whispered. Suddenly the big box under the tree at home didn’t seem quite so important. Now he knew what the minister meant about sharing the love of Christmas with others. Smiling, Sam sang Christmas carols all the way home.