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A Mommy Christmas Story
Silently, he watched his daughter as she gazed at the flickering candle. Endless moments passed as she sat there mesmerized ~ intrigued by the flame ~ then she turned a smiling face, all innocence, in his direction and giggled. What a joyful sound!
“The candle is dancing, daddy. Look how pretty it is. I like the ‘nilla fragrance’, too.”
“You’re right, honey, it has a lovely vanilla fragrance.”
“Mommy’s favorite. I always want vanilla candles at Christmas... she works far away now but her whispers still make my candles dance.”
Deep emotions touched him by his young child’s honest reflection, voiced straight from the heart. He glanced lovingly at his daughter, amazed at her resilience. It was hard just being the two of them most of the time since his wife had finally been offered her ‘dream job’ ~ across the country. Shannon tried to get home as often as possible but these trips were costly and often, she could only stay for a few days at a time. She had a major proposal to present and numerous meetings right before Christmas, and so far, there wasn’t an available seat to fly home. He and Mahalia prayed every night that mommy would make it home for a ‘mommy Christmas’.
When his wife had approached him about this job, he had made the vow before God to honor his wife, her desires, and the love they shared, though he knew that he had not been a strong Christian man at the time and really didn’t like her living away from them most of the year while she got established.
However, his faith had slowly blossomed since Shannon’s move out west and he had promised Mahalia another ‘mommy Christmas’ because he believed that his prayer would be answered. He could still remember the deep sigh his 6-year-old daughter had made when he’d asked her to explain what she meant by a ‘mommy Christmas’,the first year Shannon had been away.
“Oh, daddy, you are silly,” Mahalia had responded and then hugged him tightly, as a silent tear rolled down her flushed cheek. “A mommy Christmas is all the things that mommy teached me, like...” She had stopped and pondered for a moment, as if silently communicating with her mother, and then clapped her hands before continuing, “...gotta have a real ‘pie’ tree and a real wreath on the door with ‘pie cones’ and red ribbon...”
Mahalia had proceeded to list off all the things her mother had blessed her with in the past to make it a real Christmas. He had tried his best but his heart had not been in it last year, this he knew, because his had missed his wife and all the ‘mommy’ things she did for them; however, this Christmas was different. Mahalia’s ‘mommy Christmas’ was well under way.
“Jesus is the light of my world,” she sang in a sweet angelic voice as each candle glowed.
His daughter turned her attention from the flickering flame and gingerly reached for the sweet-scented balsam fir wreath, awaiting its moment of glory. Silent communication followed as father and daughter scurried to the front door. There, Mahalia was lifted and held lovingly in strong arms as she hung the circle of tiny green boughs tightly interwoven with ‘pie cones’ and pretty red candy ribbon. “Mommy’s favorite,” Mahalia whispered, giggling at the same time, and then she leaned against her father’s shoulder, murmuring, “Circle of love ~ mommy’s love”. This was followed by a wet kiss on daddy’s cheek and a mommy hug. He knew instinctively what came next.
Once down, Mahalia scooted into the living room and squatted on the floor. Digging through a box and slowly pulling out straw, a little girl’s hands caressed the Nativity figurines one by one. She cradled baby Jesus and kissed his forehead before she tenderly laid him in the manger.
“So where will we put the holy family this year, sweetheart?”
“On mommy’s special little table next to the fireplace so everybody can see them.”
When Mahalia put the finishing touches on her creation, she beamed with delight at daddy’s praise, “Beautiful, honey.”
“So where shall we put the evergreen tree?”
“We don’t have one, daddy,” Mahalia commented in a serious tone, but then as movement outside caught her eye, she continued joyfully, “but I see it walking up the sidewalk!”
“I didn’t know trees had feet,” daddy laughed.
“Look here, this one does.” Sure enough, this tree did have two feet and it was walking. Father and daughter smiled at the comical sight of Mahalia’s Papa and the ‘walking tree’.
As the door opened, the evergreen spoke, “I’m a perfect little tree for the angel who lives here.”
Mahalia stared wide-eyed at the ‘little’ tree. “Wow, that’s a BIG little tree. Ummm, it smells yummy,” a soft voice murmured as a little nose sniffed the pine scent deeply. “Look at the needles...they reach up to heaven.” Gentle hands caressed each green bough, then they tugged at Nanni’s hands to take her to where Mahalia’s favorite ornaments lay.
An hour passed and finally the tree was ‘perfect’. All that was left was ‘God’s star’ for the top.
“Oooh, it’s so bootiful. All the angels and bells sparkle and each little star really twinkles, daddy. Bells and stars guide us along the way and angels still sing of the good news for all to hear, but you know, I love my Jesus star the best. God sent Him just for us,” whispered a sweet voice. “Mommy likes it best, too. She’ll love this tree when she sees it.”
‘Oh, to have the innocent faith of a young child,’ Mahalia’s father mused.
“And what about these?” Papa asked.
“Candy canes! Can’t forget those ~ no, no, no!”
Her family laughed as small hands eagerly opened the box and began hanging the canes one by one.
“This one is mommy’s hook, this is daddy’s, this one is mine...” her voice trailed off as she concentrated on filling as many branches with a colorful modern shepherd’s staff.
Finished, Mahalia swirled around and hugged her Nanni. Suddenly, the small voice broke into a song; “We are all our brother’s keeper who reach out to each other in love because we must care about everyone as Jesus looks down from above.”
Silence filled the void for a few moments. Mahalia’s eyes scanned the room and she stated clear as a bell, “Sorry, folks, but we’re not done yet!” Her voice was a perfect imitation of her mother.
Laughter broke out and she giggled, “We’re still missing the funny prickly leaves with red berries.”
“Oh, yes,” suddenly daddy remembered, “can’t forget the holly, dolly.” Quietly, he heard his wife’s gentle voice murmuring, “Thorns and the blood of Christ as our symbol of eternal life with Jesus.”
Yes, he was more accepting of that life with each day that passed even if their family had to be apart for a while. He felt a fleeting embrace and all the candles flickered in a new Christmas dance.
Mahalia’s excited voice broke his momentary reverie, “Soon we’ll feast on goodies ~ um, um ~ and presents will appear under my tree.”
“Naw, we don’t need gifts this year. Santa’s taking a vacation,” Papa stated nonchalantly.
“Papa, Santa doesn’t take a vacation. Mommy said he was the sprit of Christmas when we give to each other from our hearts,” Mahalia cried out. “It was the three wise guys who gave baby Jesus presents to...” and she hesitated as she looked to daddy for the right word.
“Honor.” He smiled inwardly and mentally corrected his daughter ~ three Wise Men.
“...honor his being born. So we give gifts, big and little ones, to do that, too. Even silly ones in our stockings. Oh, yah! ... Nanni, guess what? Me and daddy each gave away presents to kids who don’t got much, and sharing felt real good.”
Three adults gazed in wonder at the precocious little lady in front of them. Finally, Nanni asked, “So, little snowflake, shall we go and bake some scrump delicious Christmas goodies?”
“Angel sugar cookies for me and...” his daughter’s lively voice trailed off as she followed her grandmother into the kitchen.
The scented candles danced once more as Mahalia’s father glimpsed a vision of his wife’s loving smile. He vowed that no matter how hard society tried to abolish this blessed holiday, his daughter would always share a Jesus-filled, real Christmas.
Suddenly, a draft penetrated the warmth of the room as he heard a squeak. He turned abruptly to see if the door had blown open. It was indeed open and in the doorframe stood a tired Shannon wearing the smile he loved so. ‘MAHALIA! COME SEE YOUR FIRST MOMMY CHRISTMAS PRESENT!’
Story by Brigitte
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Newsletter From Deerlake
My vote is to have Christmas traditions all year round. You see at
Christmas time most people at least the ones I have met, always change just a
little for the better around Christmas. I do not know whether or not it is the
great yuletide Christmas carols, the festive atmosphere everywhere you go, or just some
hidden part in all of us that screams out,
The feeling of the Christmas holidays is truly all about family, friends and celebrating all things good.
The Lord's birthday is swiftly coming
Enhance your Christmas, with Christmas poems
and stories highlighted with your favorite Christmas carols.
Christmas traditions are fast becoming a family way of life.
We'll be thinking of you and yours on Christmas day