General Non-Fiction posted December 13, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
300 word story about joy

Best Gift Ever

by AliMom

Best Gift Ever Contest Winner 

Every year our rag-tag choir of high school student volunteers visited the hospital to sing carols before Christmas. We'd even learned a few Chanukah and Kwanzaa songs. We weren't the best singers in the world but the staff and patients seemed to enjoy us. We'd been instructed not to touch anything and to stay in the hall entering patient rooms only if invited.

A woman gestured to us from a room down the hall. Her teen-aged son had been in a tragic accident and hadn't been responsive since the doctor had operated the week before. The doctor said it was touch-and-go and that he could do no more unless and until the boy showed signs of awareness.

Some of the young people were reluctant to enter. They couldn't bear to see the wreck of a young man with tubes, bottles, and pumps keeping him alive. Perhaps it reminded them of their own mortality.

"Please, it's not for us. It's for him, I told them."  A few entered the room like frightened rabbits.

"What does he like?" I asked his Mom.

'Twelve Days of Christmas', she said. "It's his favorite."

So, we began. "On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me..."
When we got to the countdown; "seven swans a-swimming..., six geese a-laying..." a weak, barely audible voice hoarsely responded, "five golden rings...," and he smiled. We gasped and stood open-mouthed around his bed.

His mother ran to his bedside, broke down, and cried. He smiled up at her. She called for the doctor.

What a gift! My students were profoundly touched in a way they had never been before. We cried for joy as they shooed us out of the room to begin the work of restoration.

Writing Prompt
Write a story about the best Christmas present you've ever received. It may be an actual physical gift or an emotional experience. 100 - 300 words.

Best Gift Ever
Contest Winner

This is a true story of Christmas. I have no idea what the outcome for that young man was. His mother called once or twice in the weeks following to say he was doing well. The profound impact that it had on my students reverberates to this day. When I see them, having long since graduated, some with children of their own, they inevitably remind me of this incident and the emotional impact it had on them.
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Artwork by VMarguarite at

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