The Christmas Story
The door burst open, and three laughing children tumbled into the room. The force of their entry caused the ornaments on the tree to shake, and the lights to momentarily blink. There was a loud ‘THUMP’, and the sack of packages fell to the floor. The children giggled and laughed, and the parents joined in the laughter…
"Well, looks like the mission was accomplished!" the father said, with the mother looking on. The youngest of the children was only three, and she pulled on her mother’s pant leg…
"Mommy…want cookies…! Now!"
The mother smiled at her. "Why don’t we all go into the kitchen, and have some cookies and milk, and then Daddy will read you a story, and it’s bedtime for our three little Indians. I don’t think Santa will want to come to a house where the Children are still awake!"
Squealing and talking excitedly, the youngsters went into the kitchen, following their mother, with the father at the back of the group. "Go on now, hurry up…After all the hard work of delivering those presents, we have to get you all to bed… Just like all the children that we visited at the orphanage, and the shelter. They are going to bed early too."
The eldest child, who was nine, looked at her father, and questioned, "Daddy, do all those children have Santa come to them tonight too… even if they aren’t in a house with a mommy and a daddy? Even if they have no mommy or daddy at all?"
The father bent down and took the little girl in his arms… "Yes, he will… with the help of children like you that care… now, c’mon Princess. Let’s have that milk and cookies before you all go to bed…" She smiled, and went with her father to the kitchen for the promised milk and cookies.
When all had finished, they all went into the Great Room, and the father sat on the sofa, his wife sitting next to him, with the three children around them. The littlest one climbed onto her mother’s lap, as her father reached for the book on the coffee table. The book was a large one, with an ornate leather cover, and fine scrollwork. The father opened it to the ready marked page, and looked at the three eager faces…"Everyone ready?"
Three blonde head nodded eagerly, and smiling he began….
‘Now it came to pass in those days, that a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that a census of the whole world be taken… And Joseph went from Galilee to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem – because he was of the house and family of David – to register, together with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the Inn.
And there were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, ad the glory of God shone round about them, and they feared exceedingly.
And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign for you: You will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men of good will."
And it came to pass, when the angels had departed from them into heaven, that the shepherds were saying to one another, "let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass which the Lord has made known to us."
So they went with haste, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And when they had seen, they understood what had been told to them concerning this child. And all who had heard, marveled at the things told to them by the shepherds…’
Chip closed the Bible, and looked at his children. In their eyes, he saw the wonderment of the Christmas story, and understood why, many years ago, his grandfather had read the story of that first Christmas to him and his brothers and sisters each year, on Christmas Eve. He smiled at the children, and hugged his wife. "Now…off to bed with you…and remember the reason for this celebration…"
The children said goodnight, and went up the stairs. Chip turned to Matty, and kissed her.
"Thank you… and Merry Christmas."
Matty returned the kiss, "And thank you, Chip Morton. Merry Christmas!" and they went hand in hand up the stairs to tuck in the children, and prepare for Christmas Day.
(Author’s note…I like to believe in the world that Jane and I have created, there are deep religious roots, even if they aren’t portrayed. In the spirit of the season, I have chosen to share a look at the Morton family on Christmas Eve. I hope that all enjoy it, and that it offends no one... Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year… Linda )
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