Houser and I had just finished our inspection of the newest warehouse when Eli entered with a wheelbarrow of coal. “Where should I put this,” Eli asked.

Houser pointed to a corner, “Over there with the rest of the coal.”

Eli looked over at the corner, then glancing at me, said, “With all this coal you must be expecting a lot of Naughty children this year.”

“What?” I exclaimed. Looking at Houser I continued, “I thought we put a stop to the rumors about my giving coal to children on the Naughty List?”

“We did,” Houser, my elf in charge of the warehouses, said. “This is my apprentice’s first day on the job. Eli has not completed his studies at elf school yet.”

Confused, Eli interrupted and asked, “If coal for naughty children is a rumor then what do you need all this for?”

“You want me to handle this Santa?” Houser asked with a grin.

“No. If you take care of the things we discussed, I will talk with Eli about the coal.”

As Houser walked away, I pointed to a bench close by, “Have a seat.”

As Eli made himself comfortable, I began my story. “You see, many years ago in a one room schoolhouse, Miss Rose wanted to give her students a treat. She placed a box on her desk, and the students noticed that engraved on the top were the words, Mother of all Diamonds. She told the class that if they could wait until the end of the school year, she would open the box and show it to them.”

“How long did they have to wait?” Eli demanded.

“Since this was the first day of school, they had to wait several months before they could see it.”

“That’s too long!” Eli said stomping his foot.

“It is, and for one little boy, it seemed to be an eternity.”

“How did he manage to get through the long wait?” the elf asked.

“To tell you the truth, he didn’t last. He tried hard to wait, but after a couple weeks, his curiosity got the best of him.”

Eli twisted in his seat. “I don’t think I could wait either. What did he do?”

“One day, during quiet work time, he raised his hand to ask Miss Rose a question. The teacher waved for him to come to her desk. When he did, she whispered, ‘What can I help you with?’ The little boy then threw his arms out, knocking the box off the desk, spilling its contents.”

“That was no accident!” exclaimed Eli.

“You’re right. He did it on purpose. The little boy did not want to wait any longer, and wanted to see the Mother of all Diamonds.”

“I bet Miss Rose had something to say to that little boy.”

“She had plenty to say, but it was the little boy who spoke first,” I informed Eli.

“What? I’d think he would have been happy to see the diamond.”

“That’s the thing. There was no diamond in the box.” I turned toward Eli and placed my arm on the back of the bench. “The entire class stood to see what was on the floor. When they saw the contents of the box, they all gasped, except the little boy. He spoke in a loud voice.”

What’s this? You said this box had the mother of all diamonds in it! All I see are several pieces of coal and an old water goblet. Is this some kind of trick?

Getting excited, Eli asked, “Are you kidding? You mean that Miss Rose told a white lie? What did she do?”

“After the children settled back into their seats, she picked up all the lumps of coal and placed them into the goblet. Standing by the side of her desk, she explained that this was not a trick.”

You see, all diamonds begin as worthless lumps of coal just like these. However, over many years and under great pressure, they change into the most valuable stones on earth, diamonds.

“Miss Rose took one lump of coal from the goblet and set it on her desk. Then she picked up an empty cylinder she called the circle of time, and placed it over the goblet. The students were now leaning forward in their desks to see what Miss Rose was doing. She waved her hand over the cylinder, removed it, and then poured diamonds out of the goblet! “

“Wow!” Eli exclaimed, while clapping his hands.

“That’s what the students said. After they settled down, Miss Rose gave each one a diamond, except the boy that could not wait. For him, she picked up the lump of coal she had placed on her desk earlier, and handed it to him. In a calm voice she explained.”

I want you to keep this lump of coal. The next time you want something you’re told you can’t have, remember one thing. We do not always get what we want when we want it. Many times, you will get what you want or need, when the time is right. Practice self-control over your feelings and actions, even if you are excited or tired, and wait for the right time to come.

“I bet that little boy felt bad after the teacher told her story and never forgot that lesson,” Eli wondered aloud.

“You’re right! To this day….” I paused as I reached into my pocket, opened a small red pouch, and held out a piece of coal. “I still have the piece of coal that Miss Rose gave me all those years ago. It reminds me that patience will be rewarded.”

Notes From Santa

Thanks to Stephen Gillham, Triangle Santa, for the foundation of the Mother of all Diamonds Story 

I hope you enjoyed today’s story. I will post another one next Monday. If you have any comments or if there is something you would like me to tell you about, please feel free to leave me a comment. Until next week . . .

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