Chapter-1 : The Best Christmas Present in the World Summary Short
The summary of “The Best Christmas Present in the World” begins with the author purchasing a dilapidated roll-top desk from a secondhand shop. Despite its poor condition, the author decides to restore it. While repairing the desk, the author discovers a hidden compartment containing a small tin box. Inside the box, the author finds a letter from Jim Macpherson, an English army captain, to his wife Connie, describing a touching event that occurred on Christmas Day during World War I. Soldiers from the English and German armies exchanged greetings, gifts, and played football together. The author returns the letter to Mrs. Macpherson, who is now a nursing home resident. She is grateful to receive the letter and shares a heartfelt conversation with the author. The story highlights the destructive nature of war and emphasizes the importance of peace and compassion.
Chapter-1 : The Best Christmas Present in the World Summary Long
The summary of “The Best Christmas Present in the World” begins with the author purchasing a run-down roll-top table from a secondhand shop. Despite its poor condition, the author decides to restore it. On Christmas Eve, the author begins to repair the 19th-century oak table, which has badly damaged drawers due to fire and water. While fixing the last drawer, the author discovers a hidden compartment containing a small tin box. The box is labeled “Jim’s last letter, received January 25, 1915. To be buried with me when the time comes.”
Inside the tin box, the author finds an envelope addressed to “Mrs. Jim Macpherson, 12 Copper Beeches, Bridport,” dated December 26, 1914. The letter is from Jim Macpherson, an English army captain, to his wife Connie. In the letter, Jim describes a touching event that occurred on Christmas Day during the war between the English and German armies. While both sides were in their trenches, a German soldier waved a white flag and wished the English soldiers a Merry Christmas. This prompted more soldiers from both sides to exchange greetings and gifts, including canned meat and wine.
In “The Best Christmas Present in the World,” the soldiers from the English and German armies hug and wish each other Merry Christmas. Hans Wolf, a German officer, shakes hands with Macpherson and tells him about his life in Dusseldorf, where he plays cello in an orchestra. Macpherson, in turn, tells him about his life in Dorset, where he works as a schoolteacher. Wolf mentions that he knows English and enjoys the work of Thomas Hardy, who has written about Dorset in his book “Far from the Madding Crowd.” Macpherson offers him some cake sent by his wife, Connie.
The soldiers then play football together and share food and drinks. Despite enjoying each other’s company, they must part and return to their trenches. Later that night, both armies sing carols before falling into silence. Macpherson writes that these memories are a treasure for him and hopes that the war will end soon.
After reading the letter, the author decides to return it to Mrs. Macpherson. However, he finds out that her house in Bridport, Dorset, had burned down, and she is now a 101-year-old nursing home resident. When he returns the letter to her, she is overjoyed, and her eyes fill with tears. She thanks the author for keeping her husband’s promise and shares a heartfelt conversation with him. She declares it to be the best Christmas present in the world.
Conclusion of The Best Christmas Present in the World
The story emphasizes that war only brings destruction and sadness to the world, while peace leads to happiness and the welfare of humanity.
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