Fuzzy Bunny was very excited to open his gifts on Christmas morning. Every day in December, he counted how many days were left until the BIG day. He wished very hard for an iPod, so he could play all his favourite games without having to share with his brother, Fuzzy Hoppy.
It was Christmas Eve. Fuzzy Dad worried about paying the credit card bills that would come in January. He worried. And worried. And worried. He said to Fuzzy Mom: "Hunny bunny, we only have enough money to put carrots on the table. How are we going to afford all these gifts?"
Fuzzy Mom thought. She thought. And thought. And thought. She was a good thinker. "I could pick up another shift at the carrot processing centre," she said.
"Yes," Fuzzy Dad said, "but then there's less time for the kids to see you."
"We can cut back some expenses," she replied.
"We already watch our spending pretty good," he said. "I think I need to go back to work."
Fuzzy Dad had been at home for seven years. He cooked. And cleaned. He fixed things and made sure the house was in good order. He took good care of his family. When the kids went to school, he would sometimes go to the market and sell whatever carrots he had grown in the garden. But that only brought in a few dollars.
"Are you sure?" Fuzzy Mom asked.
"Yes, I'm sure," Fuzzy Dad said. Even though he wasn't so sure on the inside. He wondered if he could find a job. He was nervous.
Fuzzy Bunny was having a hard time falling asleep. He always had trouble sleeping the night before the BIG day. He heard his parents talking about money.
Fuzzy Bunny thought. He thought. And thought. And thought. He hopped downstairs and said to his parents: "You can return our gifts if we need more money. You can return my iPod, too."
Fuzzy Dad looked at Fuzzy Mom. Then he looked at Fuzzy Bunny. "What makes you think you got an iPod?"
"Dad," Fuzzy Bunny said, "you guys always get what we want."
Geez, Fuzzy Dad thought. It was true. They always get what they want. Fuzzy Dad and Fuzzy Mom always told their kids that Christmas was about spending time with family. And they did spend a lot of good time together.
But really, for Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy, it was all about the gifts.
Fuzzy Dad and Fuzzy Mom wondered if they spoiled their kids at Christmas. It was kind of fun to do that. But they wondered if they sent the wrong message—that Christmas was more about stuff—than family.
Fuzzy Hoppy heard some talking and hopped downstairs too. "What's going on?" he said, bleary-eyed.
"Mom and Dad need more money," Fuzzy Bunny said to his brother. "So I said they could return our gifts."
"YOU DID WHAT?" Fuzzy Hoppy said, very alarmed.
"It's okay, Hoppy," Fuzzy Bunny said. "We already have too much stuff."
Fuzzy Hoppy was disappointed, but said he understood. He really did kind of understand, but also kind of didn't.
"Well, it's very late," Fuzzy Mom said, always the voice of reason. "Up to bed now, Bunny and Hoppy. Tomorrow's a BIG day."
Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy went upstairs, wondering what would happen on the BIG day, then finally fell asleep.
Fuzzy Mom and Fuzzy Dad sat down on the couch and shared a glass of wine.
They decided they'd return the gifts. It was a tough decision. Fuzzy Dad decided he would still get a job outside the house, to help Fuzzy Mom with the bills.
The next morning, on the BIG day, Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy hopped into their parents' room. "Wake up! Wake up!" they hollered. "It's the BIG day!"
Fuzzy Dad and Fuzzy Mom were worried their kids would be disappointed. They all hopped downstairs and made their way to the tree.
It looked empty. Except for two little boxes.
Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy were curious.
"We really appreciate you two are willing to give up your gifts," Fuzzy Mom said. "It'll help us out."
"But Santa thought you guys should still get at least one gift," Fuzzy Dad said.
Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy smiled. They unwrapped the gifts.
Two shiny new iPods. "YAY!" they shouted.
Fuzzy Bunny and Fuzzy Hoppy looked at each other. Then they looked at their parents.
"Thanks, Mom and Dad," Fuzzy Hoppy said. "But we talked before we woke you guys up this morning. We decided we don't want the iPods."
"What do you mean?" Fuzzy Dad asked.
"We thought you might not return the iPods," Fuzzy Bunny said. "But you guys always say we should help other people," he added.
"So," Fuzzy Hoppy continued, "we want to return them and donate the money to charity."
Fuzzy Dad was very impressed. "Are you sure?" he asked.
"Very sure!" the boys replied.
"Really?" Fuzzy Mom asked.
"Yes!" they answered.
"Well this really is a BIG day," Fuzzy Mom exclaimed.
Fuzzy Dad stared at his boys and smiled, filled with Christmas spirit. "Come here everybody!" he yelled. "It's group hug time!"
For the Fuzzy family, this was the Christmas with the least amount of gifts.
But it was also the Christmas with the most amount of love.