The Best Christmas Present in the World Class 8 Summary & Explanation in English


Captain Jim had planned to send a letter to his wife but the letter remained undelivered in a secret compartment of his desk, later to be found out by someone else.

The Desk

The narrator spotted a roll-top desk in a junk shop. He took this risk and bought the table. He intended to restore it as a brand-new table of that type would be pretty expensive. While repairing it, the narrator found a secret drawer. He opened it and found a black tin box with a note, “Jim’s last letter, received January 25, 1915.”

Inside the box was an envelope that had the address of “Mrs Jim Macpherson, 12 Copper Beeches, Bridport, Dorset.” The letter was written on “December 26, 1914.”

The Undelivered Letter

The letter was written to Connie. It was written in the letter that German soldiers invited them for a Christmas meeting. They did this by waving a white flag across their border. They were trying to make peace in the middle of the war. Captain Jim met Hans Wolf, a German officer. Jim talked to Hans Wolf and found out that he had never been to England all this time.

He read English books. His favourite author was Thomas Hardy, and his favourite book was Far from the Madding Crowd. They were all smoking, laughing, and drinking. Suddenly, they started to play football. Hans told Jim that this is how they should resolve wars. They departed and wished each other good luck.

Mrs Macpherson

The narrator folded the letter in the box and drove to the address on the letter. He asked for the whereabouts of Mrs Macpherson; she was 101 years old. She lived in a nursing home. The narrator found the old lady. She was sitting alone in the nursing home. The narrator approached her and gave her the letter. She mistook the narrator for Jim. She asked the narrator to read her the letter.