Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

THE CHRISTMAS SLIPPERS

November 2, 2008

amanda-twinkling-christmas-slippers.jpgAmanda loved so many things, but most of all she loved shoes.  Every time she received a gift it was a new pair of shoes, boots, sneakers or slippers.  All of her uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends would send her gifts of shoes.  Her mother would take her shopping for new shoes when school started or when she had a special party to attend. 

Amanda had shoes in every style, color and design imaginable.  She had loafers with pennies in the pockets, and running shoes with blue and white shoelaces.  She had slippers for bedtime that were fuzzy with faces of puppies on the toes.  Amanda had many pairs of party shoes fit for a princess.  She had fancy shoes in patent leather.  She had black ones, red ones, blue ones and white ones.  She had purple shoes with blue bows on the straps.  Her colorful sneakers were in every kind of design.  Some of them even had flashing lights on the soles.  She called her favorite fancy shoes her twinkling Christmas slippers.  They were beautiful red slippers that glittered in the light.  They had Christmas trees on the toes and little white presents with red ribbons and bows that danced around the shoes.  They were trimmed in red satin ribbon and a green bow sat at the front of each slipper.  

One day, Amanda’s mother said that they were going shopping in the city for Christmas presents.  Once they were there, they stopped in all the fancy shops.  When they were finished, they went to have lunch in a favorite restaurant.  As they were walking towards the restaurant, Amanda noticed something special.  There on the corner amongst all the shoppers, sat a lady with her little girl.  They were wearing old tattered clothes and the mother was begging for money.  The little girl was wearing shoes that were much too big for her small feet.  Amanda’s heart ached for the little girl.  Amanda’s mother stopped and gave the woman some money for her collection plate.  She didn’t say a word to Amanda as she continued to walk toward the train station.  Amanda noticed that tears had welled up in her mother’s eyes.  She didn’t ask her mom why she was crying because she felt sad for them too.

Amanda and her mother returned home with their presents.  As Amanda wrapped her gifts, she could not stop thinking about how many shoes that she had and how that little girl only had big ugly shoes to wear.  Amanda went to her closet and took down the Christmas slippers off the shelf.  She loved this pair the most and thought how the little girl might feel wearing these pretty shoes instead.             

At breakfast the next morning Amanda asked her mother if she could give a Christmas present to the little girl that they had seen the day before.  Amanda’s mother smiled, and told her that giving from your heart was the true meaning of Christmas.  She agreed to take Amanda back into the city, so that she could give the little girl a Christmas present.  Amanda wrapped the slippers in her best wrapping paper. 

The next day they went back to the city and found the spot where they had been the first time that they had visited the city.The little girl glanced at Amanda and put her head down in shame.  Amanda knelt down and placed the present in the little girl’s lap.  The little girl looked down at the gift and then looked up at Amanda’s face and smiled.  The little girl hugged the box as if it were her favorite stuffed animal.  The mother of the little girl smiled warmly at Amanda and her mother.  Again Amanda’s mother placed money in the woman’s collection plate. 

All the way home, Amanda smiled.  She felt so warm inside.  Several days passed and Amanda’s mother arrived at her bedroom door and said “Amanda, I have a few more last minute errands to run in the city tomorrow, would you like to join me?” Amanda was thrilled “Oh yes Mommy”, she said.

That day it was a cold day and Amanda wore a red coat and green velvet hat and pants.  Amanda had a furry scarf tied around her neck and pink mittens to keep her hands warm.   She had her tall black boots on just in case it snowed.  When they got into the city, they went to a big department store and bought Amanda’s father a blue tie.  They stopped in many small shops and then had lunch in a fun restaurant.  Seated at the counter, a real toy train carrying their food stopped right in front of them, letting them slide their plate off the little car.  Just before they were to leave for home, Amanda asked if they could see the little girl one more time.  Amanda’s mother was pleased to say yes. 

They walked several blocks passed store windows decorated for Christmas.   She could not wait to see her new friend.  As they approached the corner, Amanda could see the little girl.  She did not have her head down in shame today.  There she sat alongside her mom wearing a great big smile.  She clapped her shoes together so that the Christmas trees twinkled more brightly in the sun.  She looked up at Amanda and the love shone back at her.  Amanda thought that the shoes fit her perfectly and that they seemed to twinkle even more brightly than before. 

Amanda’s Christmas was divine.  There were lots of presents underneath the tree.  Of course on Christmas morning she had received several pairs of new shoes.  Aunt Kitty gave her a pair of fuzzy knee high boots to wear after skiing.  Uncle Charlie gave her a pair of blue cowboy boots.  Her mother and father bought her a lovely pair of white ice skates with pink laces and pompoms.  Although Amanda was thrilled with the sight of all the presents, it was the pair that she could no longer wear that brought her the most joy that Christmas Day.  Her heart felt so warm every time she remembered the little girl and her twinkling Christmas slippers.

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BENJAMIN’S CHRISTMAS TREE

May 22, 2007

100_11121.jpgBenjamin just loved Christmas and he especially loved the Christmas tree decorating party that his family held each year.  He was in charge of putting the candy canes on the Christmas tree.  Benjamin really wanted to hang all the special ornaments instead.  Benjamin’s mother was walking down the hall passed Benjamin’s room.  “Benjamin” said his mother, this year we have a surprise for you.  Since you are a big boy now and are six years old, you are going to put the special ornaments on the tree tonight.”  He loved the special angel and the snowman the best.  The big red Christmas balls were so shiny that they twinkled against the Christmas tree lights.  Benjamin knew how proud he would be this year when he would stand back and admire the ornaments that he had hung on the family tree.   “Now hurry up and finish getting ready”, said his mother, as she walked downstairs to the kitchen.Benjamin was so excited this morning because his dad and his little sister, Sally were all going to pick out a tree together.  After they chose the special tree, his dad was going to cut it down and then they would bring it home on their sled.  Benjamin ran down the back staircase that led to the kitchen.  “Where’s Dad” he said, “Where’s Dad and Sally, they didn’t leave without me did they?”  His mother glanced over with a smile “Well, who is the excited boy today, Ben? Dad would never leave without you he is out back getting the sled ready.  Sally is there too.”  Before she even finished her sentence Benjamin was out the door and running across the yard towards the shed.   Benjamin’s dad was busy cleaning the sled and Sally was throwing snow balls.  They all left together and walked towards the woods to cut down the family Christmas tree.  Benjamin and his sister Sally followed behind the sled that his dad brought with them to carry the tree.  They ran along side and laughed.  “Sally, what kind of tree do you want?” Benjamin asked.  “Oh, I want a little one so that I can decorate it all by myself,” said Sally.   “I want it to be the best tree ever, Dad, said Benjamin.”  “I think that it will be the best tree this year, son”, said their father. When they were deep in the woods they began to look for just the right tree.  Sally and their father went to the left and walked through rows and rows of trees.  Benjamin walked in the opposite direction.  It wasn’t long before Benjamin found just the right tree.  Why, he could almost see his favorite ornaments hung on the tree alongside the beautiful twinkling Christmas lights.  He stood for a long time just admiring the tree.When all of a sudden, he heard the sound of a tree being cut down, “Oh no” he thought.  He quickly ran towards the sound, only to find Sally and his dad…his dad had also found the perfect tree!  He was cutting down another tree in the forest.  Benjamin knew that he should have stayed together with his dad and sister.  He felt so disappointed that he did not get to choose which tree they would decorate. “Well, Benjamin isn’t this tree a beauty” said his dad.  Benjamin said “Oh yeah.”  “Give me a hand here son, said his father.”  Benjamin and his dad loaded the tree onto the sled and tied it securely so it would not fall off.  Away they went to their cozy little home to get warm by the fire and have cookies with Mommy and Grandma.  As they walked through the snow Benjamin just couldn’t get that other tree out of his mind. When they got home, Benjamin’s mom was baking Christmas cookies with Grandma in the kitchen.  They were chocolate chip cookies, Benjamin’s favorite kind.  Grandpa was in the attic sorting the Christmas lights and boxes of Christmas ornaments.  “Well, Benjamin I bet you’re excited about tonight, his mother said.”  Benjamin said, “I sure am Mom, and I get to hang the special ornaments too!”   It had started to snow by now and when Benjamin looked out the window all he could see was white trimming every tree in sight.  He thought that it looked like Mom and Grandma had put cookie icing all over the yard. Well that night rolled around pretty quickly.  There were plenty of cookies and goodies to eat.  The family gathered around the piano to sing “Silent night.”  Christmas carolers were singing at the front door and Benjamin’s  mother invited them in for something to eat.   Grandpa shouted “Ben, it’s time to decorate the tree.”  “Okay Grandpa, come on Sally let’s go, said Benjamin.”  They ran through the dining room into the living room where the tree stood.  Everyone was in the living room by now and taking ornaments from the boxes stacked in the corner.  Benjamin’s dad had already put the Christmas lights on the tree and he leaned over to plug in the cord.  Everyone cheered as he turned off the room lights and lit the tree.  Grandpa picked up Benjamin and lifted him high enough to hang the star from the top of the tree. “Okay Sally now it’s your turn”, said Grandpa.  He lifted her so that she could hang a candy cane on one of the top branches.  Sally was in charge of haning the candy canes on the lower branches.  Grandma said “Sally, here is a bunch of candy canes for you to be in charge of, hang them on the tree.”  Benjamin went over and found his favorite ornaments.  He carefully hung them on branches in the front of the tree for everyone to see. Later when everyone was gathered around the nativity scene to say a prayer of thanks for baby Jesus, Benjamin asked God to watch over his tree alone in the woods.  Benjamin felt so sad about his lonely and bare tree.   Benjamin’s father saw how sad Benjamin looked.  “What’s the matter son”, said his father.  Benjamin started to cry and said “Dad I feel so sad for my tree.  When we were in the forest today I found the perfect tree but it was too late.  You were already cutting one down and now it is all alone in the forest on Christmas Eve.”  His father looked at Benjamin and said, “Benjamin you could have told me about how you felt.  Never wait so long to come to me for help. Together we can work anything out.  Go get your coat and scarf and while you are at it, get some Christmas ornaments.”  Benjamin did what his father asked and when he came back his dad had his coat and hat on.  “Come on son, we are going to decorate that tree for Christmas.” It was dark and cold and the snow was coming down more lightly now. There was a bright full moon to help light the way.   Benjamin’s father carried a box of ornaments and Benjamin carried some in the pockets of his coat.  They trudged through the snow and finally found Benjamin’s tree.  They both stopped and stood still…they could not believe their eyes. The tree glistened underneath the light of the moon.  Each branch was covered with snow and the snow was twinkling like Christmas lights.  His tree looked more beautiful than any tree that he had ever seen.  His dad put his box of ornaments down and said “Wow, look at that!”  Benjamin smiled, he didn’t feel sad anymore.  “Okay, let’s get to work son, let’s put these ornaments all over this tree and make it really magnificent.  Then next year when we come to cut down our tree, we will know which one is your favorite.”  Benjamin felt so happy as he put the ornaments on the tree with his father. When they were finished they stood back and looked at the tree.  “Wow” his dad said again, “Benjamin I think that you are right I have never seen a tree more beautiful than the one you have chosen.  Next year we will know just where to look and we will bring this one home.”  They both walked back home underneath the moonlight with the snow falling and Benjamin thought about what a special Christmas Eve it had been.  Tomorrow morning they would wake up and open their gifts and later in the day Grandma and Mommy would make a wonderful turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  Benjamin just loved Christmas.