Gloria wakes up on Christmas Day with an idea of what the day will be like. Her father, a migrant worker, is away tending heaters at an orchard, to keep the oranges from freezing. But at least she will get to spend the day with Mama and her grandmother. Then Mama tells Gloria the bad news – someone has called in sick at work, and she needs to fill in. On Christmas Day? No!
So Mama bundles up herself and Gloria, then they rush off to catch the city bus to the hotel. Gloria has never been to work with her mother before. She is awed by the expensive furnishings and foods at the hotel. But she is told to stay in the kitchen with the cook, and stay out of sight of the hotel guests.
This story perfectly portrays the disappointment of a child who didn’t get the Christmas she was expecting. Life can often be unfair, and this situation seemed unfair. But at the end of the day, when she and Mama are visiting with the grandmother, Gloria realizes that the best gift of Christmas is love, which is priceless.
This book is perfect for reading aloud with family or friends. It is short enough to read in one sitting, and leaves you feeling wonderfully warm inside.