Today I am sharing a true story written by a 10-year-old boy in 1924. His story was printed in the December 1924 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. I hope you enjoy it! You can read more from the 1924 volume here.

A Wonderful Gift (a true story)

by Keith Somerville, age 10

WERE you ever sick in bed for months and months, and did you ever spend a Christmas in the hospital? If so, you will know what I consider the most wonderful gift in the world.


Last year I was in the hospital and was operated on two days before Christmas. I thought it would be dreadful; but it was not so bad.


I named all of the nurses. There was a pretty one that I named “American Beauty”; another I called “Miss Smiles.” All the day before Christmas the nurses worked put on the sun-parlor fixing up everything for Christmas. They made a fireplace out of cardboard and covered it with red paper. At one end they had a Christmas tree with a star on top of it. My room opened on the sun-parlor and I could see them.


That night at seven o’clock they brought all the children out to see the Christmas tree; that is, all who were able. There was one little girl across the hall from me who had broken her collar-bone, and she could see the tree from her window. There were ten children and twenty-five nurses on that floor who came to the tree. One of the doctors was dressed up like Santa Claus and gave us many pretty presents.


There was one boy who was too sick to come, and we heard him moaning. Daddy asked him what he wanted for Christmas. He said, “A pineapple.” Daddy got him a fresh pineapple and he was so disappointed because it was not canned. He had never seen the fresh fruit.


In the dawn of Christmas morning the nurses awoke us singing carols up and down the corridors.


Of all the wonderful gifts which God gives his children, I think the most wonderful and most to be prized is Health.

There was no indication of where Keith lived, so I’m not sure how his Daddy was able to obtain a fresh pineapple in what was probably December 1923. Since the boy who requested the pineapple had never seen a fresh one, it must have been unusual to have one. I hope the little boy cheered up when they cut into the pineapple. What a humble and wonderful gift.

I agree with Keith that the most wonderful gift to be prized is Health. When I am doing my gratitude practice I always start by being thankful for my health and the health of my family. I sincerely hope you and your family are well, especially at this time. Let us be grateful for health.


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