Several years ago my wife, Jo, and I were privileged to own one of the most amazing animals we had ever known, U-CDX Humphrey’s Max-A-Million, CD, CGC, TT, TDI, FDX, better known as Max, our Standard Poodle. Max was our faithful friend and loyal companion whose long and stellar career spanned over thirteen years of contributing his immense talents and comical personality to television, the movie screen, countless personal appearances, and his favorite activity of providing therapy and entertainment to numerous convalescent centers and hospitals. The essence of this remarkable creature was the impetus for the creation of the series that began with The Christmas Poodle, followed by The Christmas Tree House and culminating with this, The Christmas Wish. The main characters, Jamie and Tessie Kimball, may be fictitious but they do represent the plight of many children today who are the victims of severe family dysfunction to the point of being homeless or in foster care. Through their experiences I hope to convey that the Christmas Season is a time for miracles, a time for healing and a time for children of all ages to perhaps believe in a little magic to make the world a better place.
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Eerie darkness shadowed the otherwise brightly-lit neighborhood as snow fell from charcoal skies, heavy and wet; blanketing holiday decorations and sizzling against hot colored lights. An old car parked discreetly at the entrance to the cul-de-sac protected a lone figure from the quickly accumulating snow. Dan Kimball retrieved a half-smoked cigarette from the overflowing ashtray, then rifled through the trash on the passenger seat until he found a box of matches. The soft glow of the lighted stick added little ambience to the dirty interior of the rent-a-wreck that had brought him half way across the state. Less than a block away the children he had previously abandoned to an ailing wife now lived comfortably in a loving foster home. He took a drink from a half-empty bottle of cheap whisky then clutched his coat pocket, a now frequent habit he had picked up ever since placing the tattered insurance policy there the week before. In the dim light of a street lamp he pulled the policy out and unfolded it as he had so many times. He ran a dirty finger across the printing mid-page…the sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars…payable upon the death of the Insured, Marla Elizabeth Kimball. His eyes always widened at the amount, but quickly narrowed when he glared at the next page…Beneficiary: James Alan Kimball…Relationship: Son.
Jamie Kimball may have been his son for a while, but he was not his biological offspring. How he loathed the little boy who had taken his last name in an adoption proceeding of convenience. He despised the child that was robbing him of the insurance benefits to which he felt rightly entitled.