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The Perfect Christmas Tree (standard:drama, 1257 words)
Author: Maureen StirsmanAdded: Dec 10 2002Views/Reads: 2661/1580Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Cora examined the Christmas tree with a critical eye. It was perfectly decorated, as usual. But to her eyes--something was missing. Then the doorbell rang and Christmas eve changed.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

she looked like the Madonna.  Her big brown eyes were filled with 
tenderness as she touched the baby.  I felt what she felt.  I am a 
mother myself, you know.  She smiled at me, like the smile of an 
innocent angel. 

‘What a miracle you two are, to take us in.' she said.  ‘I was afraid
something had happened to Kevin.' She laid the baby on my peach brocade 
sofa. I poured the coffee and served the sandwiches.  David, the little 
boy, and Katherine ate bowls of cereal and marshmallow toast.  Then we 
all went back into the living room with more coffee and cookies.   
Morris made telephone calls and left messages on answering machines, 
doubtful that anyone would answer on Christmas Eve. 

I poured a cup of coffee for the young mother and asked her name. She
smiled that Madonna smile and said. ‘Maryann.' 

‘Let me hold the baby while you drink your coffee.' I said.  ‘I think I
can remember how.' 

‘Look at the pretty tree, Mama.' the little boy said. 

‘Yes, it's a pretty tree, honey.'  I said, ‘Look at the manger.  It's a
keepsake from my great grandfather.  He made it a long time ago.' 

‘Can I hold the little wooden baby?' he asked. 

‘No, David, just look at it.' his mother said. 

‘Of course, you can hold it.' I said.  I handed the carved baby Jesus to
the little boy.  His little fingers felt the smooth wood and he kissed 
the carving.  Then his father gently put the baby back into the manger. 

We talked and tried to decide what to do next.  Kevin called his
mother-in-law.  Finally, at 10:00 o'clock the man from John's garage 
came in his red wrecker truck.  Morris and Kevin went with him and 
twenty minutes later they were back and ready to proceed with their 

They all bundled into their warm clothing and Maryann kissed us goodbye.
 The baby had been sleeping most of the time they were in our home.  
When she put his blankets around him, she handed him to me.  She put 
the white stole back on her brown hair and I looked at the baby.  He 
opened his eyes and I know he was too young to smile, but I tell you- 
he did.  I will never forget the look on that infant face.  Maybe it 
was the special night or, as I said, maybe the hall light cast a 
reflection, but in the blanket around the baby's head, a brightness 
glowed.  They started out the door.  ‘Wait!' I yelled.  I put the 
carved infant Jesus into David's hand.  ‘I will never forget you.'  I 
said.	‘Nor we you,' said the father, ‘or your kindness to strangers.' 

As they drove out of sight Morris and I came back into the warm room. 
The Bible was on the coffee table where Morris put it after he had read 
to me earlier.  The draft from the door turned the fine Bible pages.  
We sat down and glanced at the holy book, ‘The Living Bible', Luke 
9:48, ‘Anyone who takes care of a little child like this is caring for 
me!'  I leaned back into my husband's arms and looked at the tree. IT 


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