"I will go to the library now. Are you coming with me Gini?", Karl asked. "Why do you want to go there today?"Gini asked. "I want to see what kind of stories they have about Christmas." Karl said. Gini was a little bit surprised but she put on her boots again and together they went to the library.
At the library they searched for Christmas books and immediately started reading. There were stories about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer who first was laughed at by the other animals but who could finally use his glowing nose to help Santa get the toys to the children despite the snowstorm. "I think this is my favourite story" Karl said. "Yes," Gini said. "Because it shows that something that looks like a disadvantage at first can in reality be an advantage." Then they read on. Many stories were very nice: The story of the teddy bear who wanted to choose himself who would get him for Christmas, for example. Or funny: The story where a child went up to the chimney to play Santa and then slid down accidentally but landed softly in the snow. And there was the story when Santa was losing some of his presents on his way and the mouse Philipp and his toy cat Tiger found out how nice it is not only to get presents but to give them as well. All stories were really wonderful and they didn't notice how fast the time was flying by and it was already time to go home for dinner.
When they sat together at their open fireplace after dinner Karl said: "Maybe we should create our own story." "That's a good idea," Gini said. "How do we start?" And Karl started to tell the story and Gini finished it.
Once upon a time there were two little penguins who played in the snow in the morning of Christmas Eve. It snowed all the time and big white snowflakes fell from the sky. Papa and Mama were busy with the final Christmas preparations.
Suddenly Gini and Karl saw how an object that looked like a flying saucer came towards their garden. And a short moment later the UFO had already landed. A short moment later the door opened and some green and red looking aliens climbed out. They walked straight towards Gini and Karl and faster than you can say "Merry Christmas" they had carried Gini and Karl inside.
Inside the UFO it looked rather strange and bizarre. In a way everything was decorated Christmas like but somehow the whole atmosphere didn't feel like Christmas at all. In a corner there was an uneven shrill glowing Christmas tree made out of cheap plastic. On a shelf there was a crib with baby Jesus in the stable built with material unknown to Gini and Karl. And everywhere there were wrapped presents and Christmas cookies. From the ceiling lots of stars were hanging all over the room and in the middle a bright star lamp was hanging. A Santa Claus with reindeer and sleigh was also standing in another corner. The Santa Claus was playing some kind of melody which probably was supposed to be Christmas Carols.
The aliens brought Gini and Karl to a big sofa and asked them to sit down. Then they offered them hot tea and cookies. The boss of the aliens sat down opposite to them. For a while he watched them silently, then he said: "For the last several weeks we have traveled the earth and studied the Christmas rituals around your planet. But we still haven't figured out what all this is good for after all? Why are there people running around in Santa costumes? Why do the stores advertise to buy more and more and even more? And why do you give presents over presents? Everybody could as well buy exactly what he or she wants to have for him/herself? Why do you make all these efforts? Couldn't you as well celebrate a normal party?!"
"That wouldn't be the same", Gini and Karl said in unison. "Christmas is a very special feast. It's true that the gift giving part has really grown too big in recent years. It's all just big business and it's pretty easy to totally overlook the real spirit of Christmas through all of this. You buy or make presents and write cards to express that those other people are important to you. It's not a competition to give or receive the most expensive gifts. And we bake Christmas cookies and sit still around our Christmas wreath with our family and friends because our family and friends mean something to us. With all those decorations we make the gray and sad winter much brighter and friendlier. We give and get presents because both is fun! If you just repeat what we are doing mechanically without any emotion you don't really celebrate Christmas. You must feel the love when you are giving presents and do all the other Christmas activities. You can only experience the true spirit of Christmas when you feel the joy inside you!" While Gini and Karl were still talking some aliens had fetched real fir branches from the forest. And now they lighted some candles. The spaceship immediately filled with the lovely smell of the branches and everything felt a lot more like real Christmas. After that Gini and Karl showed them how to bake cookies and make stars from colorful paper. Then they sang Christmas Carols together. Everyone was in a cheerful mood. "Now I start to understand what you mean by the spirit of Christmas" the boss of the aliens said when it was time for Gini and Karl to go home. "It's not really important what you do but that you do that what you do with love and joy. Merry Christmas!"
What a wonderful story. But now it was really time to go to bed. It wasn't long until Christmas Day would be here. Gini and Karl could hardly wait so much they were looking forward to it!
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