Once upon a time, a little girl loved to read. Books would transport her miles away, into fanciful times and places. She would feel the dreams and sorrows of countless other children as she sat, curled up on the couch or her bed. Hours would pass and chores would go un-done. This little girl had several favorite stories, but at Christmas time there was in particular that she read over and over again. It was the story of a little girl and her family at Christmas. Little sugar ducks and beautiful crèches. Weaving and knitting secret gifts. Baking and carling. The little girl was captured by the charm and simplicity of an old-fashioned country Christmas.
As the little girl got older, she still loved to read the story, but now she did it in the private of her room. It was a little, you know, childish. She still loved to poor over the beautiful pictures and she knew the story by heart. One day, the little girl decided that enough was enough. The little girl was grown up now, and she was going through her things. Many of the books were kept, but the old Christmas story had to go. It was old, and ratty. The pages were loose and folded, and there was no reason to keep a picture book. She was probably the only one who really loved it that much, anyway. So it went on the yard sale table with a $1.00 sticker on it. She secretly hoped that no one would want to buy an old, ugly book for a whole dollar.
Years passed, and the little girl had a little girl of her own. Then a little boy. She started looking through yard sale boxes and digging through the shelves at the library sales. She was looking for books for her own little ones. The collection grew. Every time she had a chance, she was hunting for the best books. She started remembering her favorite books from her own childhood. The Little House on the Prairie. Madeline. The Borrowers. Many of them she still had, so she dug out her old boxes.
But the Christmas book was gone. Did she sell it? Yes, it was really gone. She looked everywhere, but finally she accepted that it was gone. Oh, how she wished she could share it’s joy with her own little one’s at Christmas time! She didn’t even know what it was called. The story was about a little girl named Becky, and she thought it was called Becky’s Surprise Christmas. She searched Amazon and E-bay, but there was nothing. She supposed that no one else had loved the book as much as she had, and she would never find it.
Then one day, she heard some mothers talking about a book called Becky’s Christmas by Tasha Tudor. Of course, by now the little girl had learned enough about children’s books to know who Tasha Tudor was and she was delighted. At last she would have her book back! She quickly went to Amazon and searched for the book- There it was! Just like she remembered! Then, to the little girl’s great dismay she quickly saw that the book was out of print and very expensive. The grown-up little girl was so sad! Oh, if only she had listened to her heart! She would still have her precious book, and she would be able to share it with her little ones.
Her heart knew that the story was a wonderful treasure, even when her growing-up mind told her it was worthless. Now the little girl knows that the true value of a book is not in shiny pages or fancy pictures, it is in the heart. And someday, she will buy another copy of Becky’s Christmas, no matter the cost. You can’t put a price on the treasures of the heart.