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The Spirit of Christmas
By Kathleen L. McDonald
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
In the eyes and heart of a child there is the innocence of the true meaning of Christmas.
The Spirit of Christmas
The stores were all lit up with fancy decorations. Trees covered with ornaments graced every space available so that it looked like a winter wonderland. Bright new and sparkling toys were carefully placed so that each could be seen by the many shoppers that wandered through there toy department. There were elves and trucks , fire engines and all kinds of different dolls. Some cried, and others talked, there were even some that could walk. There was one very special doll that she had wanted for a long time. It was a tiny baby doll that softly cooed when you rocked her. That is the only thing she had asked for in her letter to Santa Claus.
No body noticed Laura as she wandered from floor to floor in the huge department store. For it was Christmas Eve and all the last minute shoppers were hurrying on their way to get their shopping done so that they could go home. Angrily they would push and shove her as she tried to avoid them. “Get out of the way, little girl!” yelled one man as he hurried along with his hands full of wrapped presents. A small tear fell from her eye as she looked in wonderment all around her. There was a manger in one corner of the store surrounded by Christmas trees. The figures were so big that when she stood next to them she felt even tinier than she was. In the wooden manger was the baby Jesus and he had his little hands stretched out as if in welcome.
The little child looked around to see if anyone was watching. She quietly entered the manger and lifted the baby Jesus up and cradled him in her small arms. “Oh how wonderful to hold him and cuddle him close to me, “She thought. Without even thinking , Laura put the baby under her coat to keep him warm and silently walked down the aisles and out into the night.
When she got home there was no one to greet her, but Mama's friend was just across the hall and so Laura was not afraid to be in the apartment cause she kept her door open till she knew mama was home.
Mama would not be home till later for she had chosen to work because she said the tips were always better on Christmas Eve than any other night. She never knew who her dad was because mama said he had died while in the service of his country and all she had to remember him by was an 8x10 picture that stood on the table by her mama’s bed.
Each night when mama went to bed, the little girl could hear her talk to her dad before she went to sleep. The words were always the same. “I miss you so much and our little girl is a treasure, you would have loved her very much. I love you honey and will never forget you.”
They didn’t have a lot of money but mama managed to get a small Christmas tree and they had so much fun making the ornaments to hang on it and stringing colored popcorn that mama had dyed so that it looked wonderful hanging all around the tree. There weren’t any lights for the tree because mama said that there just wasn’t enough money to spare to buy them, but the Laura didn’t care. It was a beautiful tree that her and mama had made together.
Laura put the baby Jesus by the tree and went into her bedroom to find her special blanket that she had since she was a very little girl. She loved the feel of its softness against her face and it was her only treasure. Gently she picked up the baby and wrapped him in her precious blanket and sat down holding him in her lap on the lounge chair by the tree.
Quietly she started to sing Silent Night and rocked him so tenderly until sleep overcame her..........
When mama came home it was very late and she went into her little girl’s room to kiss her goodnight and tuck her into her bed, but saw that she was not there. With fear in her heart she went through the kitchen into the living room and saw her fast asleep holding unto her favorite blanket. But the blanket looked like it had something in it and mama knew that she had not given her the only present she was able to afford yet, so what could it be she thought.
Mama walked up to her and gently looked under the blanket. Utterly surprised she could not even think for a moment. Where had she gotten this figure of the baby Jesus and why had she brought him home with her? Shaking her and calling her name quietly mama tried to wake her up but she was so tired that she just mumbled something and fell back to sleep.
Well, mama thought, she will be fine right where she is, I will just cover her with a blanket and in the morning it will be soon enough to find out where she had found the baby Jesus and why she had brought him home with her.
Morning came as the sun streaked through the window and shined into the Laura’s eyes. She woke up slowly and realized that she was still in the lounge chair clutching the baby in her arms. She got up and went into her mama’s room taking the baby with her. Shaking her mama she woke her up and mama smiled at her and said, “Merry Christmas sunshine” Then mama noticed the baby in her arms and told her girl to come and sit on the bed with her.
“Honey,” Mama said,”Where did you get that figure of the baby Jesus? Did someone give him to you ?”
“No, mama,” Laura said, ”I was in the store just wandering around and looking at all the pretty things when I saw him in a corner all by himself and he had his little hands up like he wanted me to pick him up and hold him. So , I reached over and picked him up and he felt so good in my arms that I decided to bring him home to spend Christmas with us because I wanted him to know how much we loved him and that he would not have to spend Christmas inside of that empty store all by himself.”
Mama knew that the store would be closed because it was Christmas day and there was not much she could do until the next day so she told her little girl to come with her and see what Santa Claus had left for her this year.
Under the tree there was a big box and the little girl’s eyes lit up. “Is that for me?” she exclaimed. Mama smiled and said, “Yes, honey, why don’t you open it up and see what is inside of that box.”
Full of excitement, Laura carefully unwrapped the big box prolonging the surprise as long as she could. When she took off the lid her eyes lit up like stars. She grabbed her mom around the neck and hugged her as tightly as she could. “Thank you mama, for the beautiful doll. She is the one I wanted for Christmas. “
Laura picked up the doll and looked her over. She had a pretty red dress with candy canes all over it and a big red bow was in her hair. Her shoes were red too and she had on a pair of white socks that had candy canes on them also. Inside the box was another dress and shoes with a ribbon for her hair to match.
Laura had made her mama a special present and went under the tree to get it for her now. She handed it to her and watched as mama slowly unwrapped her gift. Mama’s eyes started to tear when she saw what was inside the box. Laura had found a few pictures of her daddy and mama before he had to go away and she had made pretty frames for them out of colored paper that the teacher in school had given to her. Each one was different and colorful. Now it was mama’s turn to hug her little girl and thank her for the best present she had ever gotten.
The next day, mama told Laura that she would have to take the baby Jesus back to where she had gotten him. So Laura picked him up with her favorite blanket still wrapped around him and they took off for the store. When they got there mama was looking for someone to approach and tell them what Laura had done and was hoping that with the Christmas season they would understand why her little girl had brought the baby home with her.
While mama was trying to find someone to help her, Laura walked down the aisle to where the stable was and the manger. She placed the baby Jesus back into the manger with her favorite blanket under him to make it softer and warmer. As she stood there she felt such a warm and happy glow come over her. She looked at the baby and for just one second thought he had smiled back at her.
Mama noticed that Laura was not around and started to call for her and walk down the aisles until she saw her standing in front of the manger that was next to a Christmas tree. Mama smiled when she saw that Laura had put the baby Jesus back and had wrapped him up in her favorite blanket so that he would be warm and comfortable. No one had even noticed her little girl had knelt down beside the manger singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
"What a beautiful and thoughtful child I have ," she thought. Mama walked inside the display of the manger and kneeled down with her little girl and started to sing Happy Birthday too.
A few people stopped and looked at the little girl and her mother kneeling by the manger and singing happy birthday , but not one of them stayed. They all had places to go and things to do and could not be bothered to stop just for a few minutes and celebrate Jesus’s birthday with him.
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|Reviewed by Cryssa C
|A wonderful write...full of many messages. Thank you for sharing your gift of insight with us.
|Reviewed by Felix Perry
|Katleen I am sorry I took a while to read this but I knew it was going to be a wonderful write and I wanted to take my time and enjoy it, and now after reading it I know I was right. This is defiantely publishable and you should be getting this out to the magazines and short story pubs prior to next season. It is perfect blend of hope, faith and love from the innocence of a child. Very well done dear friend.
hugs and all the best of the season
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|A very compelling story, Kati. The last line says a lot about our society. Love and blessings to you,
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Absolutely heartwarming story, Kathy; well done! BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D
Merry Christmas from my house to yours; may it be the best CHRISTmas EVER!!!!