Mommy was up early
the next morning, working in the kitchen. She put a big pan of something in the
oven and said, “Gobble, gobble.”
Bruce stood by me,
watching her, and he licked his lips. “That’s turkey,” he whispered. “It’s good
Daddy came down
soon, carrying Jake’s crutches. Hmmm,
strange. I tipped my head and looked at Daddy. He set the crutches down and
walked into the kitchen. He didn’t look like his foot hurt.
Daddy pulled a big
pan out of the cabinet. “Make some room for the real cook.”
grinned and poked Daddy in the chest.
I heard Ruthie
laughing with Jake then, so I turned back to look at the stairs. They both sat
on the steps, bumping down them one by one. Jake had his hurt foot stretched
out so it wouldn’t bang. That looked like fun. I wanted to run and bounce down
with them, but I saw Mama in the door to the hallway then, shaking her head.
“We have pancakes
for breakfast on Christmas,” Ruthie told Jake. “Daddy makes them.”
“I remember Dad
making pancakes on Christmas when I was little.” Jake bumped down the last step
and sat on the floor.
Merry Christmas.” Ruthie ran and scooped me up. “Your first Christmas is always
best.” She kissed me and squeezed me tight.
“Meow.” I wiggled
in her arms.
“Do you remember
your first Christmas, bug?” Jake asked.
Ruthie stuck out
her tongue at him and went into the kitchen. Daddy came and handed Jake his
crutches, then helped him get up. I jumped down and ran around the kitchen.
Everything smelled so yummy.
The people always
thanked their God for the food before they ate. This morning Daddy said,
“Ruthie, do you want to thank God for the day? And tell Jesus happy birthday.”
said, looking serious and clearing her throat. “Jesus, happy birthday, and
thank you for this food. Thank you for Christmas, and for loving us, and we
love you too. Amen. Oh, and thank you so much for Millie. I like having her
here this Christmas.” She rubbed me under the table with her foot.
I poked my head
out from under the table and looked around the room. I’d still never seen Jesus
anywhere, but they always talked to him and God.
they cleaned everything off the table, then we all went into the living room,
Mama and Bruce and me too.
“Jake, will you
read the Christmas story from Luke?” Daddy asked, handing Jake one of the big
books called a Bible.
turned pages in the book. Good. I curled up by his feet. I liked to listen when
they read stories.
The story was
nice, about a baby being born, shepherds, and angels singing. ”Glory to God in
the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
(Luke 2: 14)
Jake had a soft
reading voice. I almost fell asleep.
But then Ruthie
jumped up, clapped, and said, “Now I’ll hand out presents. I can read all the
The room filled
with excitement. Ruthie passed out the pretty-wrapped packages from under the
big tree, and everybody tore the paper and ribbons off and threw them on the
floor. Bruce and I chased the paper and ribbons around, growling and chewing on
them. Back when I was little, Bruce taught me how to growl, and he said I was
good at it. Mama sat and chewed on one of the curly bows and purred at me and
present is for you and your mama and Bruce,” Ruthie said. “Do you want me to
help you open it?”
Oh, nice. This was
a cute package, and Bruce and I went after the paper and ribbon as soon as
Ruthie tore it off. But then she pulled out a little sack filled with jingly
stuff and threw it on the floor.
Whoa. Bruce and I
tore the sack open, and a bunch of jingly balls fell out and rolled all over.
These were for us? Wow. Even Mama chased them with us. All the family laughed
and threw the balls in every direction. I bounced and pounced and growled. No
matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t catch them all. What fun this was—the
whole family and Mama and Bruce and me, playing together.
Ruthie jumped up
on Jake’s lap, holding a little baby doll toy. “Thank you, Jake. She’s so
Jake kissed her on
top of the head. “You’re welcome. Didn’t I do a good job keeping it hidden?”
She stuck out her lip at him. “Hmmm. Do you like the book I got for you?
Mommy helped me pick it out.”
“I do.” Jake
smiled. “I love books about motorcycles. You and Mommy are smart.”
Daddy sat down
next to Jake and laid his arm around Jake’s shoulders. “Merry Christmas, Son.”
Dad.” Jake picked up one of the collar things to lead people by. “Thanks for
all the presents, especially this new tie.”
Daddy grinned at him. “I’m happy to have you here with us, Jake.”
“Me, too,” Jake
said in a soft voice, and smiled.
“Okay, time to
clean up all this mess,” Mommy said.
Oh, I needed to
hurry. I jumped up and started chasing the paper and ribbons around before the
people got them all picked up.