Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
The Best Christmas Present in the World Summary in English By Michael Morpurgo
About the Poet Michael Morpurgo
The Best Christmas Present in the World is a touching story by Michael Morpurgo. The narrator buys an old desk and finds in it a letter written by an English soldier Jim Mcpherson to his wife Connie whom the narrator goes to meet and hand over the letter.
|The King’s School, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, King’s College London
|Sebastian Morpurgo, Horatio Morpurgo, Rosalind Morpurgo
|War Horse, When the Whales Came, Private Peaceful, Waiting for Anya, Friend or Foe, Kensuke’s Kingdom
|Children’s Laureate, Carnegie Medal
Short Summary of The Best Christmas Present in The World
The Best Christmas Present in the World Introduction
The theme of the story the best Christmas present in the world depicts the brotherhood and universal bonhomie. Soldiers in enemy camps want peace and harmony. They want to live with their families. The discord of leaders develops no enmity among them. They wish to celebrate and play together. The female character waited long for the husband to return from the war front.
The Best Christmas Present in the World Summary of the Lesson
The narrator went to a junk shop in Bridport looking for a roll-top desk. The junk-seller informed him that the desk he picked up was made of oak. The narrator found it cheaper than the others he had seen.
Although the desk was, not in proper shape yet he bought it and started working on it. He took out the damaged cover. He observed that water and fire took a toll. He opened the drawers easily but for the last one, he had to apply force.
He took out a tin box with a note on it with instructions to bury the letter with her. Out of curiosity, he read the letters that mention the address of the lady Macpherson. It was written in pencil. He read the letter.
Her husband was happily narrating an incident. It was Christmas morning and they were standing in their trenches.
He observed a white flag waving from the side of German soldiers. They called out ‘Happy Christmas’ loudly. Soldiers from his side also wished them back cheerfully.
However, the air of confusion was offering them to share schnapps and sausage. About twelve soldiers started coming towards them in no man’s land. Initially, the narrator was apprehensive yet he made no efforts to stop them.
He was rather happy that they were celebrating happiness with his enemy soldiers. He further added that he liked the way the German officer came towards him and introduced him.
He wished him ‘Happy Christmas’ and told him that he should play the cello in the orchestra. Mr. Macpherson greeted him and replied that he was a school teacher from Dorset. He shared rum and sausage.
He spoke almost perfect English. He was surprised to see Dusseldorf speaking good English and knew about Dorset where he never went. The source of his information was from reading English books.
They discussed Bathsheba, Gabriel Oak, Sergeant Troy, and Dorset. His family includes his wife and one son.
The letter read as the narrator had the best time with the enemy celebrating. Next, the fun element was a game of football. They made goalposts by pitting Greatcoats.
Hans Wolf and Jim Macpherson wanted to resolve the differences and would not harm their families. Macpherson was sure of winning a game of cricket. The game was won by Germans and to his surprise, Hans Wolf admitted that their goal was wider than theirs.
Soldiers of both the sides bade goodbye to each other and felt that the night was a memorable one. They exchanged carols, ‘Stille Nacht from German’s side and While Shepherd’s Watched’ from England side. Jim concluded the letter by saying that both armies wanted for peace.
After reading the letter, the author couldn’t sleep and decided to drive to Bridport. He asked a boy the address when he went there, an old man told him that he knew about Ms. Macpherson.
Her house was burnt. She used – candles instead of electricity considering it to be cheap. She was in a nursing home named ‘Burlington House’ on the Dorchester road.
When he entered he saw hallway and a lighted Christmas tree kept in a corner with a lopsided angel on top. He asked for Mr. Macpherson while waiting to observe that everyone in the dining room was singing and wearing a paper hat.
The matron offered a mince pie and took him along the corridor. She ‘ told him that Mrs. Macpherson was not in with the others. She would be happy to have a visitor as she didn’t have a family.
He saw an old lady sitting in a wheelchair. She folded hands in her lap. Her hair was folded in a wispy bun. The visitor wished her Merry Christmas Connie and gave her the tin box.
He described her how he discovered that. But she paid no heed to all his conversation. Rather she was smiling. She came forward with tearful eyes. He mistook him for her husband Jim.
She asked him to sit near her and read the letters himself. She wanted to hear his voice. She told him that they would have for Christmas cake and marzipan.