The Surprise Christmas Tree     /p1

The boys and girls in Miss Brown's room were busy and happy! They were making chains of silver and gold and red and green paper to put on the Christmas tree that stood in the corner of the room. They were happy because the Christmas tree was to be a surprise for Shirley, who could not come to school because she was ill. They made gold and silver stars, too. Miss Brown made a silver angel with tinsel wings to hang on the very tip-top of the tree.

On the day before Christmas each child brought a small gift and hung it on the tree for Shirley. Children in the other rooms were giving gifts to each other, but the boys and girls in Miss Brown's room wanted to give Shirley a Merry Christmas.

Among the gifts on the tree were a tin steamboat that ran on wheels when you wound a spring, and a small statue of a shepherd and his dog. Sammy had no money to buy a gift. He felt very bad about it, but his Dad carved a tiny basket from a dry peach pit and Sammy painted it. He told Sammy to put it on the tree for Shirley. Miss Brown said she knew that Shirley would love it!

At last forty gifts hung on the beautiful Christmas tree, and forty boys and girls were just about the merriest that they had ever been, because they had done something to make someone else happy.

Shirley was so pleased when the tree was set beside her bed that she could scarcely speak. She was happy because the boys and girls had shown they cared for her. She had missed them very much and began to feel better right away because she was so happy! Shirley would never forget this special day and the very special gifts.