“How's the Christmas performance coming along?” Grandpa Jake asked as Tristan entered the house.
“Mrs. White is teaching us a new Christmas song,” Tristan said, “and she said that I'll get to sing part of the song by myself.”
“Well, I do have the best voice,” Tristan boasted. “None of the other kids can sing as well as I do.”
Grandpa Jake raised an eyebrow. “Is that so?”
“Of course it is. Listen to me sing.”
Tristan started to sing the song Mrs. White was teaching them.
“Very good,” said Grandpa Jake. “You do have a wonderful voice. But you should always be careful when you start boasting about the gifts that God has given you. It can hurt others' feelings when you boast because it makes them think they're not as good as you are.”
“But what if I am better than the others?”
“You should still be encouraging because that will inspire others to do their best. Everyone doesn't have the same gift, but each person does have something special to offer. It's like the story of Crew and Co.'s Christmas.”
Crew and Co. had been assigned to work on building a movie set for the filming of a Christmas movie, and they were all excited about it. Each of the construction vehicles had undergone maintenance and some even had a new paint job, so they'd be in tip-top shape.
“I'm relying on each of you to do excellent jobs,” Mr. Oversite told them. “You're a great team to work with, and I need the best out of each one of you. Happy building!”
“I never thought I'd be asked to help build a movie set,” Little Digger told Dugs. “I've never done anything like this before.”
“Neither have I,” said Dugs, “but we know how to work together as a team, and we make an excellent building crew, which I guess is why we got this job in the first place. So don't worry about it; just do the job like you've always done it, and you'll do great.”
“Thanks, Dugs,” Little Digger said. “You're the one who taught me how to do my jobs. I've enjoyed learning from you.”
The first few days of building went well, and a lot of progress was made. However, before long some of the construction vehicles began to have some problems.
At lunch break one day, Crank was feeling rather cranky. “I can't work with Lorry anymore,” he told Dozer. “She's so bossy and picky now that she got a new paint job. I can't load anything up without her squealing that I'm going to mess up her paintwork. I think I'd do better work on my own.”
“Tell me about it,” Dozer said. “You should hear Dugs rattling on and on about how much he knows about building! He thinks he's so much more useful than me. I'm going to find some other work to do on the site, so I don't have to be around him.”
Elsewhere on the site, Dugs was telling Roadmarker and Roadroller how lazy he thought Dozer was. “And don't even get me started on the Con Crete Brothers,” he added. “I don't even know why they were included on the construction team.”
“I'm waiting for you people,” Dee said grumpily. “Do you think we're on holiday or something? I have work to do, so can we get on with it?”
And off he rumbled.
“'Dumpy' Dee is back,” Dugs said. “He didn't get any improvements made on him like the rest of us did. No wonder he's so grumpy!”
“We should probably get back to work, though,” Roadroller suggested, “unless we want him to get even grumpier.”
“Well, I don't see why we need him,” Dugs said. “We're capable on our own. Let him huff and puff all he wants.”
Later that afternoon, Mr. Oversite came to see how things were progressing. Something's not right, he thought.
Many of the vehicles that he'd teamed up were no longer working together. Some of the other vehicles looked very unhappy. There were arguments going on, and the work was not being done properly.
This is not good, he thought. We'll have to work something out or we'll never get this job done in time!
“Hello, Mr. Oversite,” called a cheery voice. It was Little Digger.
“Hi, Digger,” said Mr. Oversite. “I'm glad to see that someone is actually doing what I asked them to do. Do you have any idea what's going on?”
“Not really. I've been busy working.”
Suddenly there was a big crash. Mr. Oversite and Little Digger turned to see what had happened.
“Look what you made me do!” Crank shouted.
One of the large steel poles that Crank had been lifting had fallen out of his grasp and crashed heavily to the ground. Fortunately, he wasn't holding it too high, and it had not fallen on anyone.
“Don't blame me for your mistakes,” Lorry shouted back. “That pole nearly hit me, and just think what it would've done to my new paint job!”
Mr. Oversite had had enough.
“QUIET, EVERYONE!” he said into the loudspeaker.
The construction site went silent.
“I am unhappy with what is happening here today,” he continued. “As I walked around the site, all I could hear was arguing, fighting, boasting, and other ugly talk. This is not the way to get a job done, is it?”
No one said anything.
“Could I say something?” Little Digger asked.
“Of course,” said Mr. Oversite. “Little Digger is the only one who's been doing his job as he should, while the rest of you squabbled.”
“Hi, everyone,” Digger started. “I was thinking this morning about what a great job we have here. I mean, I never thought that I'd be working to help build a movie set. But what I think is more special than that is that we get to build a set for a Christmas movie. That's pretty cool if you ask me.
“You know, Jesus came to Earth in a pretty simple way. He was the King of the whole universe, but He was born in a little, stinky, dinky stable.
“Even though Jesus was so important and special, He never boasted about who He was or what He could do, even though He did so many things that no one else could. And if we all tried to be like that—humble and meek—then we'd get a lot more done.”
“Very good point,” Mr. Oversite said. “Little Digger has the right idea. You’ve each been made for a specific purpose, with certain abilities, but you still have to work together. Each of you is needed, which is why you’re on the team. Maybe you should all start by apologizing to each other, and then work together on the jobs that you were assigned.”
After everyone had apologized, the construction vehicles went back to work—this time in unity, as a team, and the result was the creation of a fabulous set.
“Thank you for helping us remember what Christmas is about,” said Dozer to Little Digger. “And how we can love and help each other, just like Jesus.”
Two weeks later at the school's Christmas performance, Tristan got up to sing “Drummer Boy” with Derek and Troy. All three boys sang their parts beautifully. Then other songs were sung, and a short play was performed. Everyone enjoyed the show.
“Well done, Tristan!” said Grandpa Jake. “That was a fantastic performance you put on.”
“Thank you. I told the others the story you told me. We did our best to work as a team and each do our part. And it worked.”
“Yes, it worked indeed!” Grandpa Jake exclaimed. “It was a wonderful Christmas performance. I'm so proud of you.”
“Merry Christmas, Grandpa,” Tristan said as he gave his grandfather a hug.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Tristan.”
Moral: Christmas is a time of love, caring, and helping others. When you celebrate Christmas, remember to think of others before yourself. That’s what will make you the happiest.
At the following link you will find the full collection of “Grandpa Jake” stories and activities for more in this series.
Authored by Katiuscia Giusti. Illustrated by Agnes Lemaire. Colored by Doug Calder. Designed by Roy Evans.Featured on My Wonder Studio. Copyright © 2008 by Aurora Production AG, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved.