Billaboo, The Elf with Big Hands
By Karen Sipps
Elves do all sorts of things at the North Pole. There are elves that design new toys, elves that make the toys, elves that wrap the toys, elves that test the toys, and elves that pack them into Santa’s bag.
The very first elf in a family—the great-great-great-great-great-great-grand-elf—selects what he wants for his family legacy, and then every elf in future generations does that one thing. But Billaboo was very unhappy. You see, he was born with big hands. Not just bigger than normal, he had gi-NOR-mous hands. Why on earth was I born with these huge hands? How am I supposed to work in the family ribbon-tying business with these??
With such big hands, Billaboo couldn’t wrap any packages. He couldn’t put on curly ribbons, or fat ribbons, or skinny ribbons, or velvet ribbons. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t get those presents wrapped! His fingers would get stuck in the tape, or his giant thumbs would get caught in the knot on the bows.
“All I want is to be able to work next to the rest of the family,” Billaboo mumbled, his eyes puddling with tears. All year long he searched for some way to help, but his hands just got in the way! Even his sisters couldn’t help. They would save him all the large packages, thinking that the larger ribbons would be easier to tie up, but that didn’t work either!
I’ll never be of any use.
The very next morning, there was a terrible hullaballoo in the candy section of the toyshop. Billaboo came running.
“Did someone say my name?” he asked.
“No, not Billaboo, HULL-A-BA-LLOO!” said Nibby, one of Billaboo’s friends.
“What’s the matter?” Billaboo asked.
“Our candy dispenser is broken!” Nibby shrieked, his hands waving up and down. “We’ve tried to fix it, but it’s just no use! Christmas Eve is coming and we’re way behind! How on Earth are we going to fill all of the stocking stuffers with all these little candy pieces in time for Santa to deliver them? We have to push the button with one hand, take a handful of candy with the other—which is only a few pieces at a time—put it in the box, come back and get another handful and put it in the box and on and on. It will take us until Valentine’s Day to get it done! We’ll never fill all of these in time!”
He pointed down the rows and rows and rows and rows of plastic candy boxes. They were shaped like trees, and like mittens, and like snowmen, and like Rudolph. “Santa is WAY TOO BUSY double-checking his list for us to bother him. What can we do?” Nibby asked.
“Well, I’ll help if you need me to!” Billaboo said.
Nibby shook his head. “There’s no time! We can only take three or four pieces per trip—”… Nibby stopped and looked down at Billaboo’s hands. They were gi-NOR-mous! Billaboo might be able to fit ten pieces in his hand! Maybe more.
“Billaboo, YOU can be our candy dispenser! Can we try?” Nibby asked excitedly.
So Billaboo washed his hands, and then held them under the broken candy dispenser, while Nibby pushed the button. A HUNDRED candy pieces fell out into Billaboo’s hands, and not a single one spilled on the floor. That was enough to fill FOUR or FIVE whole stockings! Billaboo was so excited! “Ha haaaaa!” he screamed.
“Hey everybody,” Nibby yelled to all the elves. “Look what Billaboo can do!”
All the elves rushed over to see. Billaboo could take one handful and fill up four stocking stuffer boxes without even making a second trip!
“Hooray, the stocking stuffers are saved!” the elves shouted.
“We can still make it before Christmas Eve if we all work together. Let’s do it!” Nibby cried.
He ran to push the plastic boxes down the line toward Billaboo. They were working faster and faster now. Billaboo would fill the boxes with one handful and then pass the box to Twinkle, who closed the box and taped it up, and then gave it to Elvis, the head elf, to put in Santa’s bag.
They worked long and hard. Billaboo came back every morning, and was the last elf to leave the candy shop each night. And when they were all done, the elves made a wondrous discovery! Billaboo was FASTER than the dispenser! Elvis, who had been loading the sleigh, knew what had to be done.
“Billaboo, on behalf of all the elves, I want to ask you a special favor,” Elvis said.
“Of course, Elvis, what do you need?” Billaboo asked.
“Would you be our official candy stocking-stuffer filler?” asked Elvis. “You’re faster than the machine ever was, and besides, we love your Christmas spirit!”
Me? But my hands have never been of use to anybody! Could it really be that I could help? Billaboo looked down at his hands—his gi-NOR-mous hands! Billaboo’s heart filled up so much with pride he thought it would burst!
“I’ll do it!” said Billaboo.
“Yippee!” shouted the elves.
And that, my friends, is how Billaboo the elf, thanks to his gi-NOR-mous hands, found a place to belong, learned to LOVE his gi-NOR-mous hands, and became the official candy stocking-stuffer filler for all of the North Pole.
Note from the Author: Billaboo sure had some big hands, didn’t he? It’s easy to see how he could feel bad because he’s different than the other elves. Nobody wants to be different, because other people might pick on us or be mean to us. But God makes each one of us with a special plan in mind. He makes us exactly the way we are. Billaboo had big hands. He started to get discouraged though when the purpose he thought he was made for wasn’t working out so well. But then he discovered that the way God made him WAS perfect, for exactly what God needed him to do at the time.
Maybe for you, God made a big nose, tiny ears or big toes that are shaped like light bulbs (that’s me!). Maybe he gave you freckles and red hair, or no eyelashes and black hair. Maybe he made you brainy, or nice to animals. However you are made, God made you that way on purpose, and He never makes mistakes! The Bible (God’s Word) says in Psalm 139:13 that God “made all the delicate, inner parts of your body and knit them together while you were still in your mother’s womb (tummy)” —New Living Translation
The very next verse says “I will praise you (God) for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14, NIV). When we realize that God made us a certain way on purpose, and that He never makes a mistake, we can praise Him for how special He made us. And better yet, we can look at our friends around us, just like Nibby did, and recognize that God made THEM special too.
So go on… go tell someone that you love them EXACTLY the way God made them!
This material is copyrighted 2009-2020 and the author retains all rights. This story is made available by the author as a service to parents, teachers and libraries, and may be printed for use by the above persons, but may not be distributed, published, copied, or otherwise used without prior written approval from Mrs. Sipps. All rights reserved.