On a clear Christmas Eve night, Charlotte stood next to the tree in front of the next house down from the home where she had grown up. Despite the frost on the windows and her shivering as her threadbare coat with no buttons billowed out around her from the cold, she smiled at the memories of Christmases past when she wasn’t estranged from her parents.
She could picture the living room with its evergreen tree covered with red bells and bows, kept as far away from the fireplace as possible. The usual staid room was turned into a snuggery where the family enjoyed mugs of cocoa together on the night before Christmas. Mom and Dad would allow Charlotte and her brother and sister to open one present, and as they in unison tore into their gifts, wrapping paper was threwn everywhere! What fun they’d had! Oh, to be able to experience such joy again!
As tears flowed down her face, she wished upon the star brightly lit in the night sky that she could experience that joy one more time! From the alms she had received while standing outside the gazebo in the park, she had bought her mother some mittens, remembering how she always complained of her hands being cold and the fingertips turning numb. But she could have saved the money because she could never undo the hurt she had caused them.
Suddenly, she saw the door to her parents’ house open. She heard her mother say, “Is that you, Charlotte?” Her first instinct was to run away, but the desire to see her parents again was too strong. “Yes, Mama!” she said. “It’s me, and I don’t mean no harm! I’ve been sober for more than a year now! I just wanted to catch a glimpse of the Christmas tree and remember! I’m not asking to come in or anything like that!”
Her mother ran gracefully to Charlotte and took her in her arms. As they embraced and cried together, her mother said, “That’s nonsense, Sweetheart! The door has always been open! I have prayed that one day you would come through it again before I died! Come out of the cold, Baby Girl! You’ll catch your death in this cold!”
Together, they entered the house, and at the sight of the evergreen tree decked out in red bows and the fire in the fireplace, Charlotte smiled as her father approached her with his arms open and a mug of cocoa. Boy could her dad give the best hugs!
I stared out from across the street as this loving spectacle took place. I was the one who had called Charlotte’s mother to inform her of Charlotte’s presence. I felt somewhat inept at handling matters of the heart, not knowing how her mother would react. I just knew that a small voice had whispered in my spirit to call! I admired the way her parents responded.
It made sense, though, for I remember that on a long ago Christmas Eve night, when a single star shined bright in the night sky, it pointed the way to the ultimate need and gift: A Savior, Christ the Lord!
Written for the Wordle #224 from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The twelve prompts are in bold letters. Also, for the Three Things Challenge from Pensitivity 101: clear, next, unison. Fandango prompt is Inept. Ragtag prompt is Billow. Word of the Day Challenge is Bells. Your Daily Prompt is Admire. The Daily Spur prompt is Graceful. I thought this was appropriate with the Christmas Star due tonight.