“Do you like it? Do you really like it?” Mom was hoping my silence was due to my unspeakable joy.
A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater that wasn’t a bike.
“Sure, Mom, it’s great.” I felt like I should cry. I was entitled to cry, I thought, but it was the kind of sad that didn’t include tears. If I hadn’t worked so hard all year, if I hadn’t thought about a new bike every waking second of my life, if I hadn’t promised God I would earn it, then I might not have noticed how the color of the yarn would perfectly match the Wonder Bread polka dots on my bread-bag boots. But I had done all of those things, and I did notice.
“I’m really sorry about the bike, honey.” Mom’s voice was too soft and tender for how I felt. “It’s just that the repairs for the roof were so much more than I expected. I know you understand. Maybe I can save up enough to get it for you next year.”
I understood all right. I understood that we would always be the poor family and I would always be the poor kid with plastic boots and no bike.
(excerpt from pages 70-71)
If you’ve ever had your heart set on a specific toy for Christmas or your birthday, and gotten something you disliked instead, you’ll be able to identify with 12-year-old Eddie. Or maybe you’ve been desperate for something to happen, like getting the job you think will be perfect, or marrying the person who will make you gloriously happy, Then circumstances take a sharp turn, and you find your hopes dashed. From that point on things are on a downward spiral. But as this short book shows, life doesn’t have to be ruined by disappointments.
Although the story is fictional, Glenn Beck based it on a sweater he received one Christmas. The names and places in the book are not real, but the emotions of Eddie, the main character, are real. The author says the story was waiting to be told for over thirty years. Read this short book – you can read it in a day or less – and it will focus you back on what is really important in life.