Mary's Christmas (fm:romantic, 8737 words)
|Added: Nov 24 2012||Views / Reads: 3990 / 2556 [64%]||Story vote: 9.80 (44 votes)|
|The magic of Christmas is in the giving.|
The sun felt warm on her shoulders, while the air was cool against her face. The dried autumn leaves crackled under her feet as she walked. The fragrance of the dead leaves mixed with the scent of the balsam firs reminded her that the holiday season was fast approaching, and this would be the last quiet time on the farm until Christmas day. As she wandered, she picked up fallen pine cones that could be used in the centerpieces and door arrangements they created on the farm.
Mary walked the better part of an hour before turning to head back. The sun was starting to get low in the sky when she caught sight of the big red barn. It glowed in the setting sun, standing out against the gray-blue sky. Within two weeks, the corral fence would be draped with fresh evergreen garland and festive red bows. There would be colorful wreaths and evergreen sprays displayed on the sides of the large attached shed. The inside of the shed would be transformed into Santa's house, filled with the aroma of cinnamon and where over two hundred different Santa figurines would be displayed. Mary's mood turned somber as she remembered last year.
Nick and Emily had taken over the family business twelve years ago. It was Emily who had envisioned a place where families could come and cut their own trees, or pick out a fresh pre-cut tree, look at holiday displays, enjoy warm cider, hot chocolate, and cookies right out of the oven. A portion of the barn was refurbished and heated to be able to accommodate holiday parties, with Nick serving as the on-sight Santa.
They were raising their daughter to believe in Christmas magic, and to give back as much as they could. Last year, ten-year old Emma came up with the idea to become the drop-off for new toys for the needy, as well as a place where people could donate food for the local food shelf. Nick and Emily also hosted a free "Breakfast with Santa" for the residents of the town's homeless shelter.
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