Welcome to the first story of Twelve Days of Stories.
Since it is Christmas Eve, I have a really happy, sweet story for you.
(I am trying to make up for tomorrow’s sad story by making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside today.)
A Story about A Cookie
I’ve known all of my life that I am a giver.
I’ve known it since before I could even read.
As a little girl in nursery school, one day during snack time, the teacher ran out of cookies just as she got to me and one other little boy. She put the final cookie from her package on my paper towel. Then she left the room, presumably to find some more cookies.
All of the other children had three cookies on their paper towels.
I looked down at my lone cookie. Then I picked it up, broke it in half and handed one piece to the little boy next to me.
When the teacher came back with more cookies, she thoroughly embarrassed me by fussing over what a precious, wonderful child I was to share my only cookie. She shamed all the other kids in the class for mindlessly stuffing their three cookies while Jimmy and I shared only one. She rewarded us with more cookies and then, when my mother came to pick me up, she went through the whole episode all over again.
This story was repeated throughout my childhood. I was famous for “sharing.”
Really. The way other parents might champion a game-winning goal or a shining report card my parents told the story of how I shared my cookie.
But there’s something kind of wonderful about telling a child a story you find to be beautiful about them. If you tell a little girl that she is a giver, and you tell the story so often that she does not know if she remembers the incident or if she just remembers the telling of it, then she actually begins to believe and even live out this story.
So I’m not certain if it is genes or upbringing that has wired me to give.
Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I have a keen sense of fairness.
I’ve been pointing out what is not fair my entire life, even though my father’s standard remark to “That’s Not FAIR!” was “Life isn’t fair.”
Or if I said, “Why does Anna get more than me?”
He would say, “Because I like her better.”
Sarcasm is Daddy’s long suit.
A long time ago I heard Erwin McManus speak about having a similar sense of justice and he said that basically he was a Christian Communist. He just wanted everyone to be equally blessed.
“Amen.” I said.
Now that I am an adult, I know that I cannot make everything fair.
So instead I just make cookies.
Especially at Christmas, but I make them all year long.
I make hundreds of cookies and take them to schools and churches and potlucks and friends.
I think that somehow I am still trying to make sure there are enough cookies to go around.