The True Gift: A Christmas Story
Patricia MacLachlan (Juvenile Fiction)
Lily and Liam are off to Grandpa and Gran’s farm for Christmas. They always go in December and then wait for Mama and Papa to join them on Christmas Day. Lily likes the sameness that this time of year brings: the walks into town, the trip to the lilac library, and helping Gran make cookies. But when her brother spots a white cow standing alone in a snowy meadow, Lily’s predictable holiday is suddenly threatened. “Do we know if she’s lonely?” Liam asks his sister. “She’s a cow,” replies Lily. “Cows don’t care.” But Liam cares and because of this, Lily knows that White Cow is bound to ruin everything…especially Christmas.
From the author who delighted us with Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan gives readers another book filled with compassion, love, and family. She introduces us to Lily, a young girl who finds herself angered by her brother’s selfless desire to help a creature that finds itself quite alone on Christmas. Fortunately, Liam’s determined desire to bring comfort to this lonely creature is enough to eventually whittle down Lily’s stubborn defenses until at last, she surprises herself by whispering to White Cow one night, “Don’t worry. We’ll take care of you.” Those few words set in motion a turning of Lily’s heart, as well as the fate of another soul in need of rescuing.
The True Gift shows us that any small act of kindness isn’t truly small at all. By giving us a simple story of a young girl, a small boy, and a lonely white cow, MacLachlan reminds us that Christmas is about giving from the heart and that the act of bestowing even the slightest bit of charity to another being is perhaps one of the truest gifts of all.
* Book cover image attributed to www.barnesandnoble.com