Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, every creature was stirring including the mouse. The mouse was hiding in the corner behind the chair nibbling on a crumb of bread left over from dinner. Ella and Renee sat on the rug beside the fireplace, each reading a new book that their father had brought them for the holiday. Mother sat in one of the chairs her legs covered with a blanked, knitting while Father read the day’s newspaper in the other chair.
Outside, snow was falling in the cold London air as airships taveled across the sky and steamers rumbled and rattled their way across cobblestone streets. Gas lamps flickered in the shadows as men and women huddled in cloaks and hats hurried to be home.
Back inside, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care and a small tree decorated with hand made ornaments and wrapped in tinsel stood in one corner of the room. A small handful of presents lay wrapped in newspaper and tied with twine beneath the tree. The smell of wood smoke mixed with Father’s pipe drifted through the air.
As the fire begin to die down, Father shook his paper out and folded it up. Placing his pipe on the table beside him, he said, “Alright, my children, it is time for bed. Remember, the magic can’t happen if you are awake.”
“Okay, father.” Ella said as she closed her book and placed it carefully under the tree. Her younger sister, Renee followed suite. The two girls then climbed into their father’s lap for a hug and a story.
“So, what do you want Santa to bring you?” he asked, his gray eyes twinkling merrily.
“A dolly,” said Renee quickly. “One with green eyes and red hair!”
Ella caught the glance her parents shared over the head of her little sister and knew that was not one of the gifts that they had bought that year.
“Well, remember, Honey, Santa doesn’t always bring us what we want.” Father said, as he hugged his youngest child.
“Why not? I thought Santa was magic? I thought he knew everything.” Renee said, her lower lip trembling.
Father held his daughters close, “True but sometimes Santa brings us what we need, not what we want.”
“Hmmph. That’s no fun.” Renee said. “I want Santa to bring me a dolly.”
“I know, little one,” said Mother as she reached down, picked her up and walked down the hall toward the room the two girls shared.
As Ella slid off her fathers lap and got ready to follow her sister, she looked at her Father, “Santa isn’t going to bring Renee a doll, is he?”
Her father sighed and ruffled Renee’s black hair. “Sometimes as we get older, the things we want in life change, darling. The magic fades and we can only do what we can.”
Ellie nodded and walked down the hall. Her mother had just finished tucking Renee into bed.
“Mom does the magic have to die when we get older?” she asked as she climbed in beside her sister.
“Magic never dies, my child, it only hides away, waiting for those who believe.” Mother said as she kissed her goodnight and pulled the blanket up tucking it under Ella chin.
The next morning, Renee was the first to rise. She ran down the hall and let out a scream of joy. As Ella ran after her, she saw her sister dancing with a doll, red haired and green eyed. Other presents had joined the ones under the tree.
“He came! He came! Santa came!” she shouted as she held up the small doll for her big sister to see. The rag doll had green buttons for eyes and shreds of red fabric for hair. It was clothed in a minature blue dress, simply made but with hints of lace at the collar.
“I see. “ Ella said, smiling broadly.
When Ella’s parents came downstairs, they were as surprised as Renee to find the doll. Ella’s mother glanced at her and raised an eyebrow.
“I always believe in magic!” Ella said as she gave her mother a hug. Her father came over to join the embrace and the three stood together and watched as one little girl believed in the magic for another year.******
Tis still a very rough draft but I wanted share with folks for the holiday! Hope you have a great Yuletide season!