Merry Christmas From Eddie by Carolyn Haywood, 1986.
This is a collection of short stories, most of which involve one of Haywood’s favorite characters, Eddie. Eddie is often full of big ideas and is eager to get involved in new projects. Although this book was written in the 1980s, aspects of it seem more like Christmas in the 1950s in a fairly small town. A few of the stories at the end focus around a special children’s program that the kids take part in.
The book is currently available online through Internet Archive.
Stories in the Book:
Eddie’s Christmas Card
Eddie loves the decorations down at the used car lot, especially the fire engine with Santa Claus at the wheel. Eddie thinks it would be great if his father could take a picture of him sitting next to Santa Claus so he can use copies of it as Christmas cards, but a surprise snow storm changes his plans.
How Santa Claus Delivered Presents
Every year, there’s a large public Christmas party at the town hall, and children from the local children’s shelter are invited and given presents. This year, Eddie’s father is in charge of the celebration. Mr. Ward is loaning the fire engine from his car lot for transporting the presents, but they need some extra help transporting the extra-large Christmas tree.
Christmas Is Coming
Eddie and Boodles go Christmas shopping. Boodles wants to get a pet bird for his mother, and Eddie has decided to buy a small present for a little boy on his street who has a broken arm. Then, Eddie ends up winning a prize for being the ten thousandth child to enter the department store. It solves the problem of what to buy for the little boy, but getting it home isn’t going to be easy.
How the Christmas Tree Fell Over
Eddie is old enough to figure out that his father is the one who puts the presents under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, eats the cookies they leave out, and leaves a thank you note from Santa. This year, he gets a funny idea: he’ll leave extra presents under the tree for everyone and a second thank you note for the cookies and make everyone wonder where they came from. But, his brilliant idea doesn’t quite go as planned.
Christmas Bells for Eddie
Eddie regrets that he never joined the school orchestra now that he’s learned that they will be performing for a Christmas program on television. His mother suggests that Eddie could sing, but he says that the singing parts have gone to Anna Patricia’s cousin, L.C.. Then, Eddie’s father gives him an early Christmas present that will allow him to join the orchestra after all.
The Christmas Concert
L.C. is spoiled and refuses to sing unless they give him chocolate-covered marshmallows.
New Toys from Old
Eddie’s third grade class is collecting and repairing old toys to be given as presents to the children at the children’s hospital. Boodles has some fun making Anna Patricia think that Eddie painted the wrong colors on a doll’s face, and people question whether it was such a good idea to turn a nice white horse into a zebra.
The Christmas Program
Eddie has to be Little Boy Blue in the program that his class is putting on at the children’s hospital, but he has doubts about whether his old costume fits him well enough to get through the program.
The Mystery of the Christmas Cookies
Eddie’s mother plans to make some cookies for Eddie to give to his teacher, Mrs. Aprili, for Christmas, but a series of mistakes prevents him from giving those cookies to Mrs. Aprili. Eddie finally gives up and orders some cookies from the bakery for her. However, unbeknownst to Eddie, someone else tries to correct for his mistake and ends up creating a mystery for both Eddie and his teacher when a second batch of cookies unexpectedly arrives that is very different from both the cookies he ordered from the bakery and the ones his mother baked.