Christmas was near; times were hard The grade school had a gift exchange Telling her Ma she needed a dollar Was going to make Janie feel strange The little girl knew how poor they were And wondered how she'd get that dollar Knowing her Pa was getting laid off Made her worries seem much smaller Ma told Janie she'd do what she could And Ma had never let her down Next day, Janie earned eighty-five cents By doing odd jobs around town The girl felt proud that she could help out Being the family's oldest daughter With tear-filled eyes, she managed a smile When Ma slipped her another quarter There were no Dollar stores 'way back then But you could get a nice gift for a buck She looked and looked for the perfect thing But little Janie wasn't having any luck Noticing two classmates coming her way She ducked into the alley and hid Rummaging around, she found a nice box With a store's name engraved on the lid In the five and dime, she happened to see A music box with a twirling ballerina It cost ninety-nine cents and Janie knew She had found a gift for her friend, Tina She wrapped the box in aluminum foil Added a ribbon for just a few pennies It looked like it cost more than a dollar In the box she had scrounged behind Ninni's Janie ran home from school that day To share her wonderful news with Ma All the kids thought her gift was the best As they gazed at Tina's music box with awe Many Christmases have passed since then Ma and Pa left this world long ago What a wonderful example they set for us kids She thinks as the tears softly flow Kathleen McCoy Eldridge© November 17, 2008 All Rights Reserved