I had an early Christmas with my friends, yesterday. It inspired this week's bedtime story. Hope you enjoy it!
Pippa's Christmas List
Every morning, when she arrived at school, the first thing Pippa did was find her best friend, Phoebe. Together, they'd chat and giggle until their lessons began.
With only a week to go before the Christmas holidays, Pippa was more excited than usual when she rushed into the classroom on Monday morning.
"Phoebe!" She exclaimed, slamming her bag down onto her desk. "I saw the coolest doll, yesterday!" She frantically opened her bag and tugged out a well-thumbed toy catalogue. "Look, here it is," she said, as she skipped to the right page. "Her hair is really long, so you can plait it and she has three different outfits that you can put on her, too. There's even a little make up case that comes with her!" She sat back in her seat and sighed, dreamily. "Isn't she perfect? She's definitely going on my Christmas list."
Phoebe rolled her eyes. Pippa had been coming up with new items to go on her Christmas present list for weeks, now. She craned her neck to see the picture in the magazine. "She is cool," she agreed. "But look at the price! Over forty pounds. That's a lot of money, Pip. You said you wanted a bike last week and they cost loads!"
Pippa shrugged. "It's Christmas," she replied. "It doesn't matter how much things cost!"
Phoebe didn't look convinced, but she managed a smile, before the bell rang for classes to start.
The next morning, Pippa practically danced into the classroom. "Hi, Phoebe!" She cried, with a broad grin on her face. "Did you watch that show last night, with all those people doing roller-dancing?"
Phoebe shook her head.
"Oh, it was amazing!" Pippa went on. "They had these awesome roller skates and the wheels lit up!" She drummed her fingers on her desk. "I reckon I'd be good at roller-dancing," she said. "That's why I've added a pair of funky roller skates to my Christmas list." She nudged her friend. "You should ask for some too, so we can go skating together!"
Phoebe let out a long sigh. "I finished writing my Christmas list ages ago," she insisted. "Anyway, Christmas is a really expensive time of year. I don't need lots of new things that I'll only get bored of and chuck into a cupboard. I just want to have a nice time with the people I love best."
Pippa pulled a face. "Well, yes, obviously that's important too, but... Christmas is about getting loads of new things. That's part of the reason you have such a good time!"
"Not one of the important reasons," Phoebe began, but she could tell that Pippa wasn't really listening.
The next day was Wednesday and the girls arrived together. Phoebe slung her school bag from her shoulders and carefully unzipped it, to remove her packed lunch. "This zip is definitely breaking," she sighed.
"You should ask for a new bag for Christmas," Pippa told her.
Phoebe frowned. "I told you, Pippa; I've finished my Christmas list already! I'm not going to start adding loads of extra things."
"Oh, a Christmas list is never really finished," Pippa scoffed. "I've added loads to mine. And anyway, if you get a new bag, we'll be the same, because I'm going to ask for one, too. I want one like Jenna Jenkins in Year 6 has. You know, with the purple key chain on it? It's so cool."
Phoebe stared at her old school bag and bit her lip. "Jenna's bag probably cost loads of money," she said. "Besides, mine still works okay."
For the rest of the day, Pippa noticed that Phoebe was very quiet, but she put it down to tiredness. After all, it was almost the end of term and everyone was looking forward to a break...
On Thursday morning, Pippa arrived at school before Phoebe. When her friend entered the classroom, Pippa gave her her biggest smile. "Phoebe," she shrieked. "Guess what?! I finally had the best idea for a Christmas present!"
Phoebe smiled, hopefully. "Go on?"
"I want loads and loads of vouchers to spend," Pippa beamed. "Then I can choose whatever I want! And if I get enough vouchers, they might last for ages, so I can buy myself presents all year long!"
Phoebe's smile disappeared. "Pippa, you're really selfish," she snapped. "All you keep talking about is how many presents you want to get. Christmas isn't only about that, you know!" And with that, Phoebe turned on her heels and marched across the classroom, to sit at a different table.
All day long, Phoebe didn't say a word to Pippa. As the hours dragged on, Pippa's excitement for Christmas got smaller and smaller, until she didn't feel excited at all.
When the bell rang for the end of the day, Pippa waved goodbye to her best friend, but Phoebe simply turned and began walking home without her. Suddenly, every single thing on Pippa's Christmas list seemed unimportant. All she wanted in the world was for her best friend to talk to her again.
As tears began to prick the backs of her eyes, Pippa began to run. She ran and ran, until she finally caught up with Phoebe. "Hey!" Pippa panted. "Wait!"
Phoebe span round. "What? Have you thought of something else you want for Christmas?!"
"Yes!" Pippa cried. "You! I could get all the presents on my list, but they'd be rubbish without a best friend to share them all with." She flung her arms around Phoebe and hugged her tight. "You were right," she said. "Christmas is about spending time with the people you love best and that is more important than a doll, or a pair of roller skates. Can we be friends again, please?"
Phoebe grinned. "Of course," she giggled.
On the last morning of term, Phoebe arrived at school before Pippa did. She sat back in her usual spot and waited for her best friend. When Pippa finally arrived, she was carrying something big, wrapped up in sparkly paper.
"What's that?!" Phoebe asked, as Pippa placed the present on the table.
"It's for you," Pippa explained. "I emptied out my piggy bank after school and mum took me shopping." She smiled at her friend. "I bought presents for Mum, Dad and my little brother and guess what, Phoebe? It made me feel really happy!" She nudged the gift on the table. "And I had a little bit left over, so... I wanted to get you a present."
Phoebe ripped off the paper. Inside was a brand new school bag - pink, with glittery white stars on.
"I'm sorry it's not as cool as Jenna Jenkins' in year 6," Pippa sighed. "But you were right, her bag is expensive and I couldn't afford one like that."
Phoebe gave Pippa an enormous hug. "I don't care," she squealed. "It's brilliant! And it means so much more, because it came from you."
"You look so happy," Pippa beamed.
"I am!" Phoebe cried.
"Me too," Pippa told her. "It turns out that giving people presents can feel just as good as getting them." She grinned at her friend. "And I promise, whatever I do get on Christmas Day, I'll bring it to school and share it with you."
"I hope you get everything you want," Phoebe said.
"Oh, Phoebe," Pippa laughed as she gave her best friend another big hug. "I already have."