The Giving Tree Story
Chen Rui (Grade 1, Pudong)
That day was when the Giving Tree gifts finally arrived! As soon as we walked into the classroom, we immediately noticed the blonde-haired, green-eyed foreigners. They brought an armful of gifts, which consisted of warm clothes and scarves, school bags, school supplies, and even my favorite doll!
When my mom came to pick me up from school, I showed her the gifts I received. In the same way a shopkeeper would slowly wrap up each gift feeling a sense of unspeakable joy, my heart could burst with the merriment I felt towards the beauty of such presents! Once we arrived home, my mom asked me what my thoughts were in regards to the gifts I received. I looked at the presents, immediately feeling a sense of gratitude for the foreign sisters who brought us an endless supply of presents and was inspired to do the same good as they did, spreading and sharing the gifts, love, and happiness we have to others in the world. Similar to the song my mother would often sing, “If only people shed a bit of love, will the world become a better place.” Only if we have love in our hearts can we make our Giving Tree grow even taller and bigger and multiplying the happiness we feel in our lives!
Giving Tree Short Story
Dong Hui Qiao (Grade 2, Pudong)
One day many foreign uncles and aunts came to our school. I was very happy that these foreign uncles and aunts were all very nice, enthusiastic, and kind-hearted. They showed a lot of concern, care, and warmth. Therefore I want to applaud these foreign uncles and aunts.
This was too good! We unexpectedly received many presents. I was very touched. This was my first time receiving presents that other people gave me. No matter what the present was, I liked all of them because these kind-hearted foreign uncles and aunts allowed me to understand thanksgiving.
On TV, I often see many children from the mountains not eating their fill and not dressed warmly. They are very pitiful. After I grow up, I will also learn from these foreign uncles and aunts. I will go and help the children who need help. I will give them toys, food, and clothes that I like, to let them be able to feel this concern, care, and warmth too.
I am a Giving Tree
Luo Hai Xin (Grade 3, Pudong)
Despite the fact that it’s already winter, with the rain coming down in a drizzle, I don’t suffer from the ice chill of the wind because today, I received a bag of presents from the Giving Tree.
Once all the gifts had been given out to my classmates I impatiently opened my bag of gifts, which contained a mesmerizing sight! There were an infinite number of gifts: thick jackets, Transformers, scarves, hats, gloves, a brand new backpack, a pencil case and many more… One by one, I placed the gifts onto my desk, beginning the long process with my classmates in which we discussed over the items we’d received, swapped them for another, admiring the beauty of them, filling the room with endless chatter. After a while, the teacher asked for us to quietly pack the presents back into our bags. During this time, I suddenly came to the realization that I’m a foreigner to Shanghai, a student at a migrant school, yet I have the privilege to receive love and care from the society and to receive the teacher’s care and patience. We haven’t been abandoned by society, never labeled as outcasts, and have never experienced loneliness. We’ve been blessed!
When I got home I eagerly showed my presents to my mom. As my mom looked over what I’d received, she gave me words of advice that would forever change my view. She said, “Child, these gifts are symbols of warmth, care, and love. You have to learn to be grateful, to know how to cherish. Learn this well and use this information in the future, to give back to society. Do you understand?” Listening to her words had moved me, causing tears to flow from my eyes. I put on my new thick jacket, wrapped the new scarf around my mom, gave my dad the hat to wear, placed my pencil case into my backpack, and gave the Transformers to my little brother. Regardless of the fact that I ended up with an empty gift bag, my heart was filled with joy and warmth.
That night I dreamt a dream, a dream where I was the Giving Tree and that several children played under my branches, chasing after games and dreams.
To Give is Happiness
Wang Si Yu (Grade 4, Qingpu)
To give is happiness, but to give a gift to a beloved, you will feel an infinite sense of joy within yourself.
The uncles and aunts from the Giving Tree gave each and every one of us a large bag of presents. During that time, we were very excited, filled with delight, our hearts bursting with pleasure. When school had finished, my mom came to pick me up and together we walked back home. As soon as we arrived to the house, I impatiently opened my big bag of gifts and couldn’t believe my eyes! The bag was filled to the brim with different presents and items! The entire family formed a circle around me all talking at once. My mom said, “This glue stick is quite strong. It can be used to glue the shoes. Is it possible for you to give this to me?” I happily gave the glue to her. My big brother noticed a watch in the bag of presents, immediately exclaiming, ‘Wow, this watch is really nice! Could I have this please?” I gladly gave him the watch. My little sister whispered to my ear, nervously saying, “Big sister, they have all have gifts. What about me?” I smiled down at her, reached my hand into the gift bag and pulled out the best gift of all. I presented her with the gift, watched as she received the backpack in awe, and the way she admired the beauty of the bag. As I watched her, I felt my heart feel a sense of sweetness that was sweeter than ever honey I’ve ever tasted. After dividing the gifts among my family, I was left with a Barbie doll and a storybook. This Barbie doll was the prettiest doll I’d ever seen, with large round eyes, followed by a flicked up nose and had lips the color of red berries. The doll wore beautiful clothes, giving it a stunning appearance.
Standing to the side was my dad who had witnessed the entire event. He chuckled and said, “You are able to spread your own happiness with others, making those around you feel warmth and happiness. To make others feel joy is an incredibly special and meaningful talent! Today you did an action that cannot be explained by sharing your gifts with the family. What you did was good and kind.” Once he had finished, I finally understood that to give is happiness.
To give makes others happy as well as bringing joy to yourself. Everyone should learn how to give because you can receive more friends by giving.
To give is happiness!
Liu Wen Hui (Grade 5, Jinshan)
Suppose that the world is a small house. Love would be the stove fire that warmed it. Suppose that the world is a ship. Love would be light that would navigate it in the dark night. Suppose the world is a picture scroll. Love would be the colors that made it magnificent! I believe that love exists in this world, and that it walks in our direction. December 9, 2015, this marvelous day will always be carved in my memory. It is on this day that a seed was planted in the heart of the young me—a Giving Tree seed.
(1) Love’s arrival
The early morning was accompanied by the warm and cozy sun, a pretty picture of a tree and a group of good-natured people came into our school campus. Their arrival brought a pleasantly surprising atmosphere. Who are they? Actually, they are the Giving Tree activity volunteers, coming to give us Christmas presents. Our curiously circled around them. A majority of the Giving Tree volunteers were high school big brothers and big sisters. They were handsome, pretty, and full of energy. There were also several foreign teachers, and they looked very friendly and modest. The big brothers and sisters were especially good at speaking English. I both admired and worshipped them, determining that I myself also have to strive to learn English well.
(2) Love’s story
Regarding the Giving Tree volunteers’ arrival, we prepared a brilliant show to welcome them. The Giving Tree volunteers were also cheerfully interacting with us. However, what moved me the most was the Giving Tree story brought by the volunteers. The story talked about a how a big tree and a boy were together all the time. The big tree and the boy became best friends. The boy exchanged the fruit of the big tree for money and used the branches of the big tree to build a house and used the trunk of the big tree to make a boat. The big tree paid with no complaints. Until the very end, the big tree was only left as a short stump. The big tree felt that there was nothing else it could give the boy, but the boy that always came only wanted to sit on the stump for a while. The big tree’s selflessness and dedicating spirit deeply moved me.
(3) Love’s gift
After returning to the classroom, there was a bigger surprise waiting for us. Every student had a big Christmas gift bag. Inside there was a collection of presents given by many different compassionate people. The friendly and good-natured foreign teachers personally handed out presents to us and also shared the joyousness of the moment together with us. I also impatiently opened my present. Inside there was a piece of fuzzy clothing, a fuzzy scarf, and a schoolbag. In the schoolbag there were many study supplies. But what surprised me the most was receiving the present that I had hoped to have for the longest of times—ultralight colorful clay. After opening the bag with the colorful clay, I saw that there was also a greeting card inside. This was a present sent by a compassionate child from a different country in the world. Although I did not know who this person was and I also did not know his name, his compassion deeply warmed me. I held this card and I said, “Thank you!” silently in my heart.
(4) Love’s continuation
After returning home, I happily and excitedly brought my presents to show to my parents and gave a heart-moving account of today’s unordinary experiences. In the beginning my parents were very astonished. They did not think that there were still so many people in the world who were happy and willing to donate. I told my parents the Giving Tree story. After they heard it they were also very touched, and educated me about learning to give thanks, and use my own abilities to offer compassion to help others. Soon after, we made a big decision. Next autumn we would go plant a Giving Tree and properly nurture it to grow big. This way we can let others cool off in the shade.
Offering compassion is a very simple matter, a donation of money, help and support, a sentence showing care and concern. There are many small things that are all acts of compassion. Offering compassion is also not a very simple matter because people have to have good and honest hearts. Offering compassion means not asking for anything in return, just like that Giving Tree in the story, silent and selfless dedication until the end of your own life. Think more often with a grateful heart and let the Giving Tree grow fully on all corners of the world.
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