Little House on the Prairie

Season 2 Episode 11

The Gift

3
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Dec 17, 1975 on NBC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
126 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Reverend Alden's birthday is coming up, and the Sunday School children have raised enough money to purchase a gift. School treasurer Mary is elected to order the gift and present it to the Reverend, but with only $1.67 to spend, it's obvious that they can't afford anything fancy...until Laura coaxes Mary into taking a dangerous gamble to double the money.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Ingalls girls learn a hard lesson in business when their plan to raise cash for Rev. Alden's birthday gift goes awry.

    8.0
    In this endearing episode, the Sunday school students decide to pool their money to buy Reverend Alden a new bible for his birthday. The collected $1.67 is entrusted to Mary, who finds a nice one in a catalog and plans to order it immediately. Laura, who thinks he should have one "with real gold lettering on the cover", talks Mary into buying one for $4. She also finds a way to pay for it--or so she thinks. She uses the original funds to buy medicine to sell door-to-door for a profit. Various sales techniques fail to sell even a single bottle. The girls, terrified of what their classmates will think, confess their mistake to Charles, and to reverend Alden, just before Sunday services. In typical LHOTP fashion, the reverend quickly changes his sermon to one on "the gift of love", whereupon he holds up a wooden box(which we know contains the medicine), and thanks the children of the class for this "lovely bible case...how did you know my old bible was falling apart, and needed a case"? A subplot involves the Oleson children's refusal to donate to the fund; they buy their own bible for him, but don't give it to him after he announces from the pulpit that, "when you're a reverend, everyone gives you a bible, but never a bible case". The Oleson kids get "served", which is always satisfying.moreless
  • The Sunday School class need to buy a gift for Reverend Alden's birthday, but they only have a very small amount of money ...

    8.0
    One dollar and sixty-seven cents is not a lot of money when you wanto to buy your Reverend a lovely new bible for his upcoming birthday, but that's all the cash the Sunday School class have and none of the bibles in the catalogue are that cheap and so, Laura hatches what she considers to be an ingenius plan - she sends for some mail order patent medicines which supposedly cure just about everything and intends to sell them door to door. A reluctant Mary had given her the money from the Sunday School fund. Nellie Oleson learns that the class are going to buy him a bible and sets about making sure that she and her family present him with the best one available while Laura learns a hard lesson about quack medicines - nobody will buy them, not even for 25 cents a bottle!



    The dilemma is fixed, however, when Reverend Alden speaks during his Sunday sermon about how the ratty old bible that he carries used to belong to his father and that he would never part with it, but he is delighted with the lovely wooden 'case' the Sunday School class have given him to keep it in! Ah well, at least the medicines were worth something!moreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Dabbs Greer

Dabbs Greer

Reverend Alden

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Kevin Hagen

Kevin Hagen

Dr. Hiram Baker

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Karl Swenson

Karl Swenson

Mr. Lars Hanson (1974 - 1978)

Lurene Tuttle

Lurene Tuttle

Agnes Molson

Guest Star

Anne Gee Byrd

Anne Gee Byrd

Mrs. Hobson

Guest Star

David Byrd

David Byrd

Faubus

Guest Star

Alison Arngrim

Alison Arngrim

Nellie Oleson

Recurring Role

Jonathan Gilbert

Jonathan Gilbert

Willie Oleson

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • In the church scene at the end, if you look closely to where Doctor Baker is sitting, you can see the heart shape that says "Jason Loves Laura" from the episode The Talking Machine, also from Season 2, which is unusual since this episode was aired before The Talking Machine.

    • Lurene Tuttle, here playing the elderly Mrs. Molson, was a very well-known radio actress. She went on to become an acting coach as well, and her only child, a daughter, married famous movie score composer John Williams ("Star Wars", "Superman", and many others.)

    • Isn't it ironic that Laura's the one who suggests that the Sunday School children keep their gift idea a secret from everyone, but then she's the first one to almost blab it to her parents in the very next scene?

    • It seems a little strange that Laura actually expected that the woman wouldn't recognize her when she posed as a dirt-poor child in rag clothes. In a town that small, don't you pretty much know everybody?

    • As Laura and Mary are walking down away from the lake to pick berries, you can see they are wearing different clothes than when they were talking to Pa just seconds earlier.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Laura: Ma'am, I'm a poor child, and I need your help. My Ma died, and my Pa's awful sick.
      Woman: Oh, that's terrible!
      Laura: That's why I'm doing everything I can to help. I'm selling Dr. Briskin's Homopathic Remedies.
      Woman: Selling? You?
      Laura: Yes, ma'am. This one is for colic, and this one is for diseases of the heart, and this one is for stomach troubles. Any sickness you have, I've got the cure for it.
      Woman: If that's true, why is your mother dead and your father sick?

    • Mary: Laura, it's not our money!
      Laura: But we'll be doubling it. What's wrong with that?
      Mary: Laura!
      Laura: Well, you know what Pa said about taking chances. You just have faith and work hard, and everything will turn out all right.
      Mary: He said mostly.
      Laura: Well, there's two of us, and that's a lot of mostly!

    • Laura: You just have to take a chance sometimes, don't you, Pa?
      Charles: That's part of being alive.
      Laura: Like when we came across the prairie?
      Charles: Sure. Some folks would have been afraid of what they might run into, so they just didn't try it.
      Laura: And everything worked out, didn't it, Pa?
      Charles: That it did.
      Mary: What if it hadn't?
      Charles: Well, then you just take a deep breath and start over.
      Laura: But mostly, everything works out, doesn't it, Pa?
      Charles: Yeah, mostly--if you have faith and work hard.

    • Nellie: (about the expensive Bible she wants to get for the Reverend) It was twelve dollars.
      Harriet: Twelve dollars?!?!?
      Nellie: Marked down to three.
      Harriet: Oh....well, that's more like it.
      Nellie: For a dollar extra, we can have his name stamped in gold on the front cover.
      Nels: Which will make the prayers more welcome, I am sure.

    • Laura: Why didn't you tell Pa?
      Mary: I thought I'd wait.
      Laura: For what?
      Mary: A miracle!

    • Laura: Why don't you just be like the rest of the children and join in?
      Nellie Oleson: My mother says we're not like the rest of the children!
      Laura: I suppose she's right.

    • Willie: I vote for a new tie!
      Laura: You can't vote because you didn't give any money. And besides, reverends don't wear ties, silly. They can't with a backwards collar!

    • Charles: How was Sunday school?
      Mary and Laura: Good.
      Charles: What you learn about?
      Laura: We learned about the new Bible!
      Caroline: What?
      Mary: Uh, she means the New Testament.

    • Laura: We have laryn-geetis.
      Charles: You have what?
      Mary: La-RANG-utus.
      Charles: Larangutus. Well, how long do you think this "larangutus" is going to last?
      Laura: We should be feeling better soon, Pa.
      Charles: I mean, by the time your Ma and Carrie and I get back from Church, you think you'll be feeling better by then?
      Mary: I'm sure we will, Pa. We just need to get our strength back.
      Charles: Yeah. First of all, it's pronounced "laryngitis," and it means you can't talk. What's this all about? Why don't you want to go to Church? Come on, you certainly can talk, so tell me.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Filming Locations: Filmed at Big Sky Ranch, Simi Valley, with Sierra location scenes filmed at Basin Creek, Tuolumne and 1975 stock clip of Shay Locomotive No. 3 at Red Hills, Chinese Camp, California, and Paramount Studios, Hollywood, California.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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