Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story
This is my new favorite Christmas story. It's a short children's picture book packed with such a wallop you can't help but choke up at its surprise ending.
Frankie is a poor boy in the Appalachians back in the 1940's who benefits every year from the kindness of a rich man who gives each child who lives along the coal-town train tracks a silver-wrapped Christmas package, ensuring they each have at least one present to open.
Frankie keeps wishing for one particular present, but year after year, he doesn't receive it. But the story of a Christmas gift that never came allows the dream of it to never die. And so this story is so much more than a simple fable: "Something about owing a debt,"-- something about giving that has nothing to do with getting, and something about how dreams thwarted can still be fulfilled.