In this story, Renfroe Madison, who was first introduced in D.J.’s Worst Enemy, is three years older. It is Christmastime, and while Renfroe’s spirits are high, he is more conscious than ever of his selfish streak. With the family’s worn-out Christmas tree angelhung by Renfroe on their smokehouse dooracting as his conscience, Renfroe tries half-heartedly to curb his selfishness: Should he have split a 75-cent store credit more evenly instead of buying a 50-cent knife for himself and 25-cent one for his brother D.J.? Should he have given his lasso to three neighbors who got only an apple, an orange, and a candy bar for Christmas? Should he have given his yo-yo to Nutty, a good family friend? Renfroe didn’t really enjoy the yo-yo, and Nutty got nothing but clothes for Christmas. Then, a smile from a handicapped boy redeems Renfroe. He spontaneously gives the boy his brand-new Mickey Mouse watch“the finest thing I’ve ever owned myself”because of the happiness it will bring to its recipient.
Renfroe’s struggle to come to terms with himself is paced by the activities of everyday farm life, as well as by a hilarious Christmas pageant, an experiment to increase milk production by singing carols to the Madisons’ cows, and a longing for the snow that seldom falls south of Atlanta.
About the Author
ROBERT BURCH has been praised by Atlanta Weekly magazine as "the author of some of the finest, most satisfying books for young people to be written in the South in this century." Author of nineteen books for children, Burch is a three-time winner of the Georgia Children's Book Award, an honor bestowed by the schoolchildren of the state. His story Queenie Peavy is a winner of the Children's Literature Association's Phoenix Award. He is a native of Fayette County, Georgia.