“Hope!” she cried excitedly. “It’s time to get up! It is Christmas morning! Let’s go and greet this beautiful day!”
They both got up and Sissy made a special breakfast of spiced pancakes and warm maple syrup. While she was cooking Hope played with the extra set of bowls and wooden spoons, singing out at the top of her lungs as she drummed out her own rendition of “Little Drummer Boy.”
Sissy was laughing at her daughter’s musical stylings when there was a light knock at the door. Her stomach sank. Surely it wouldn’t be Mr. Bernard again.
She went to the door and looked through the peep hole. No one was there, but there was a large box wrapped in shiny red paper sitting on her door step.
She opened the door cautiously to get a better look at the package. Sure enough, it was a beautifully wrapped present, with a silvery ribbon tied in a perfect bow on the top. Sissy stepped out to look around and see if anyone was there. The streets were unusually quiet, without a soul in sight. Surely everyone was in their own homes enjoying this Christmas morning. But where did this gift come from? Hope ran up next to her to see what was happening and immediately let out a squeal of delight when she saw the shiny package. She jumped up and down gleefully and Sissy couldn’t help but laugh.
“It looks like Santa found our house after all, Hope,” she said. She picked up the red box and took it inside, closing the door softly behind her.
Meticulous care was taken as the two girls removed the silvery ribbon and unfastened the tape. Sissy folded the beautiful paper up carefully, wanting to treasure every aspect of this surprise gift. What could be inside?
At last they were down to a plain brown box. Sissy helped her daughter open the top. Soft brown curls was the first thing she saw and her breath caught in her throat. Bright brown eyes and the silky smooth folds of a deep blue dress followed. It was the very same doll that Sissy had admired nearly every day on her way to work. But how did this happen? Who could have known? It seemed too perfect to be real.
“Mamma! Dolly! Dolly!” Hope cried, snatching the doll from the box. She pulled it close to her and hugged it tight, rocking it like she would a baby doll.
There was more in the box, however. Sissy moved the flaps of the box lid out of the way to reveal a kaleidoscope of brightly colored fabrics. It was a quilt, made of intricate shapes in red, blue, green and purple. Reverently she lifted the quilt from the box and stretched it out to see. It was assembled with the tiniest of white stitches, done painstakingly by hand. The fabrics were soft and the quilt had a thickness to it that indicated to Sissy how warm it would be during these cold winter nights.
Who could have made such a quilt? Not only was it beautiful, but it was a work of art.
Sissy wrapped the quilt around her shoulders. It smelled faintly of roses, although Sissy didn’t know what the scent was since she had never smelled a rose in her life. All she knew was that she liked it and that she felt warm and safe.
Sissy spent the remainder of that Christmas Day wrapped in the warmth of her special quilt, laughing as she watched Hope play with her new doll, in awe of the wonder of the unexplained gifts. She did not know who could have given them these lovely things, but for the first time in her life Sissy felt loved.
Sissy placed the silvery ribbon on the star at the top of her Christmas tree. The star seemed to dance to life, catching the rays of light that were pouring in through the front window and reflecting the light throughout the room. Sissy didn’t know what she was going to do about her rent or the landlord situation, but for today it didn’t matter. Today at least, all was right and all was good. She issued a silent prayer of thanks, then turned to play some more with her daughter.