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The Devil’s Christmas Gift

The Devil's Christmas Gift

Away down South, an old custom dictates that if someone comes up to you on Christmas Day and says “Christmas gift” before y’all do, why y’all are obliged to give that person a present. Mind you, the custom does not say what sort of present y’all should give! But those of us who hail from the South consider ourselves to be gentlefolk. The gifts given and received in this manner are good enough to keep the custom alive and well.

Now, this is not to say that this custom does not have its drawbacks. Why, the Devil himself got a hold of the eastern coast of Florida in this manner!

The Devil, being a canny fellow, knew that God was walking about Florida one Christmas Day, so he hid himself behind a stump. When the Lord came strolling by, the Devil jumped out real fast and said: “Christmas gift!” And the Lord, being as fine a Southern gentleman as you could meet, held up to his end of the custom and told the Devil, “You can have the east coast,” and continued his stroll.

So now the Devil plays hurricane games with the east coast of Florida whenever it pleases him.

Copyrighted content: This is a retold folklore story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. This version of the story may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.