As you read this, I will be heading off for a mini holiday over New Year. So, what better subject to write about?! I just want to say a very big, special thank you to everyone who has read these stories, this year. Much love to you all and here's to a happy, healthy 2016!
Amelia and her family were almost ready to leave for their long-awaited holiday. Amelia had been so excited, she had barely slept the night before. She patted her pink suitcase, as she sat on the edge of her bed, with her beloved teddy bear, Hamish.
"You know, Hamish," she told the scruffy little bear. "I'm sure I've forgotten something." Suddenly, Amelia started to panic. What if she didn't have everything she needed whilst she was away? She jumped off her bed and rushed to her wardrobe. Flinging the doors open, she began to pull out extra things to go in her neatly packed suitcase.
"I need a raincoat and an umbrella, in case it's wet weather," she explained. "And Wellington boots, plus a hat, gloves and scarf!" She opened her suitcase and stuffed the new things inside. Then, she sat back on her bed. But still, something niggled at her. Turning to her bear, she gasped: "Hamish! What if the beds at the hotel aren't comfy?! I wouldn't be able to sleep..." She jumped back up and pulled two cushions from her little armchair, beside her bookshelf, then, just to be sure, she grabbed a thick, warm, cosy blanket from inside her toy chest.
But, as she looked into the chest, more things caught her eye,
"Oh, Hamish," she cried. "If the weather's wet and we can't go out, we'll need games to play!"
She stuffed a pack of cards and a dusty, old version of Snakes And Ladders into her suitcase. It was hard to get the zip done up with all the extra stuff inside, but Amelia just about managed. It was also hungry work, packing so many things, so Amelia headed downstairs to the kitchen.
And that was where she suddenly realised: "What if I don't like the food at the hotel?!"
So, Amelia grabbed packets of crisps, biscuits and a couple of bananas and rushed back up to her room to pack them in her case. This time, she had to press down really hard to get it to shut.
"Ooh," she sighed. "I can't wait to have a rest, now. It's a long journey in the car, so at least I can..." Her voice trailed away, as a thought popped into her head. "Hamish," she said. "It's such a long drive that I'll need stuff to do in the car!"
Amelia ran to her bookshelf and took off several of her favourite books and shoved them into the suitcase. She had to sit on it, to get it done up now, but she just about managed it.
"Hang on!" She shrieked. "I'll want to write postcards to my friends!" Amelia rushed to her little desk and grabbed the pencil case she took to school every day. She remembered that she'd need her address book, too, so she made sure that she picked that up as well. By the time Amelia had put all of it into her suitcase, she had to pull with all of her might in order to get the zip done up.
Amelia tugged on the suitcase with the little strap on the end. Slowly. it started to move towards her bedroom door. "It's ever so heavy," she groaned to her precious bear. "Perhaps I'll buy another bag whilst we're on holiday, then I can spread everything out on the way home." Amelia turned and saw her purse on her desk. "I can't expect mum and dad to buy me everything," she exclaimed, rushing over to get it. She opened it up and sighed. "I'm not sure there's enough in here," she told Hamish. "I'd better take my whole piggy bank, instead."
Now, the suitcase was so full, that Amelia had to shout for her mum, to help her to get it down the stairs.
"Amelia," her mother tutted. "What on Earth have you got in here?!"
"Only the most important stuff," Amelia promised.
Very slowly and carefully, Amelia's mother hauled the suitcase into the boot of the car. Amelia ran around and climbed into the back seat.
"Are we ready to go?" Her father asked from the front. Amelia gave him a thumbs up and once they were all strapped in, they set off at last.
But they hadn't got very far, when Amelia suddenly cried out. "I've forgotten something!"
Her father stamped on the brake and stopped the car. "Is it important?" He asked.
"Yes!" Amelia shouted. "It's Hamish!"
Her father turned the car around and as soon as they were outside their house again, Amelia ran upstairs to get her beloved bear. When she got back to the car, she opened her case and popped Hamish in. But no matter how hard she tried, the suitcase was too full to shut.
Amelia tried sitting on the suitcase.
She tried jumping on the suitcase.
Her mother tried to shut it.
Her father tried to shut it.
But it was no use.
Finally, Amelia knew what she had to do.
So... Out came the piggy bank, the pencil case and most of the books. Out came the broken biscuits, the crisps and the squashed bananas. Out came the wellies, the hat, scarf and umbrella. Out came the cushions and the blanket... Until all that remained were Amelia's neatly packed clothes, her purse, one book and, of course, Hamish.
The suitcase did up really easily and Amelia put everything else back where it belonged.
"Can we please go, now?!" Her father cried, as Amelia climbed back into her seat and strapped herself in.
"Yes!" She said, happily. "It turns out that I didn't really need all that other stuff. Not if it meant I had to go without Hamish. I just had to make room for the thing I love most."
And so, the family set off on their holiday. Amelia's suitcase wasn't full. But her heart was.