Christmas Stories by Donetta Loya

Christmas Stories by Donetta Loya
Coffee break stories!

Here is little bit of my world as a writer. I am sharing my morning break with you. Do you have a fifteen minute break? I will write a story to share while I take my break too! Hope you enjoy  my moments of creativity as much as I enjoy sharing grab a cup of hot chocolate and start reading!!

Story #1 "The Promise of Christmas"
Story #2  "Secret Santas"

CopyrightedOctober 19, 2016 By Donetta Loya  All rights reserved to all stories posted on this blog. No part of these stories can be copied or digitally transferred without permission of the author.

 Story #1   "The Promise of Christmas"   Oct 19, 2016

"It's snowing again, Grandma!" Six-year-old Meagan groaned loudly. "Will mommy and daddy get stuck in the snow? How can anyone come for the Christmas party if it is still snowing!"
      Anna Bracewell smile at her impatient granddaughter. "Oh, they will be here. Don't you worry." 
     Anna glanced out the window from her place in front of the kitchen sink. She signed softly. She was a little worried about how Meagan's mother and daddy were doing also...but for a more distressful reason. They had just gone through another miscarriage. The third one in three years. Anna had picked up Meagan from school last Friday while her son took his sweet wife to the ER.
     She refocused on the snow falling outside. She loved the snow. Christmas just wasn't the same without it. For sure, this year would be a white Christmas. It had been snowing off and on for two weeks. Just enough to make things white, but not enough to slow life down too much. She glanced at the little girl with her nose pressed to the glass. She remembered her worries at that age. She glanced at her already clean kitchen and shrugged her shoulders. Anything for her sweet Granddaughter. 
    "Meagan, want to make some more Christmas cookies while we wait for the others to get here?"
     Meagan turned from the window with big eyes. "More cookies! Yay!" She jumped up and down, pumping her arms. "You are the bestest grandma in the world!" She ran to her grandmother and wrapped her arms around her. "Can we make the little ball cookies? They are my fav'it."
     Anna patted the girls soft brown hair. "Yes, of course."

     As Anna pulled out the ingredients, Meagan ran to a kitchen drawer. 
     "Grandma! Wait! We don't have on our aprons!" Meagan reached in and pulled out two matching Christmas aprons. One for an adult and one for a little girl. 
     "Here!" The little girl beamed up at her grandmother. "Tie mine please, Grandma!" Her happy face was so worth having to cleaning the kitchen a second time that morning.
     The two worked together in the spacious country style kitchen. The dining room joined it making a long opened room. A fireplace was at the end of the long table. It was decorated with a Nativity scene on the mantle and garland drape on the edge. The whole house was decked out in reds, greens  and other fun Christmas decor, waiting for the rest of the family to show up. 

     Soon, they had two pans of Almond Butter cookies waiting to go into the oven. While the cookies cooked the two bakers sat at the window watching the snowflakes fall.
     "Ah oh! Grandma, the snowflakes are getting bigger!" Her worried brown eyes looked up into her grandmother's dark ones. Anna hugged the little girl to her.
     "Don't be such a worry wart. Your daddy and mama will be here in no time." Meagan relaxed into her grandmother's arms.
     "What about Unca Dillon and Aunt Katie?"
     "Yes, they will be here this afternoon."
     "Will Aunt Katie bring her new baby?" The little girl frowned. "Grandma? How come Unca Dillon and Aunt Katie got to keep their baby and my mama didn't?" Her lip begin to quiver. "Why can't I have a new sister? Doesn't God like me anymore? Why does he keep taking them away?" Anna turned the girl in her arms.
    "Oh sweetie! Yes, God still loves you very much!" Anna took in a deep breath. "Just sometimes we have sad times. We have to remember God knows our hearts are sad and he is sad with us."
    Meagan wiped her eyes. "God is sad with us? Then why not just let us all be happy and let our babies stay with us?"
    Anna sucked in a breath?  That is a good question, God. Wish you were here to answer for me. Anna ran her hand down Meagan's long brown hair. She pulled her fingers through the silken strands three times before the words came to her mind.
     "You know, Sweetie, God understands how sad you feel right now."
     "No he doesn't! He hates me!" The little girl crossed her arms over her chest in a defiant stance. "He doesn't want me to have a baby! I hate Unca Dillon and Aunt Katie! I hate their baby too!" Meagan let out a small sob as tears began to fall down her face. She bowed her head and started crying.
     "Meagan, you don't mean that. Uncle Dillon and Aunt Katie would be so sad to hear you say that."
     Meagan's looked up at her grandmother as her lip stuck out in a pout. In a quivering voice, she spoke very softly, "I know, I don't mean it, Grandma. But I miss my baby and I don't even get to see her!" The tears welled up in Anna's eyes.
    "I know, baby girl, I know." Anna pointed to the Nativity on the fireplace mantle. "Meagan? Do you know who that is up on the mantle?" Her little eyes lifted to the scene in the stable.
    "That is Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus with the cows and the donkeys." She sniffed and wiped her nose on the back of her hand. " And the shepherds and sheep and the three smart men and their camels." Anna smiled at Meagan's reference to the three Wise-men.
     "Yes, but do you know who baby Jesus is?"
     Meagan nodded her head. "He is special. He is Heav'ly Father's and Mary's son. Joseph is his daddy that lives with him on earth." Anna nodded.
    "Well, yes." She stood up and led Meagan to the fireplace. She took the baby from his cradle and set it in her granddaughter's hand. "Did you know, that Heavenly Father loves us so much that he sent this special son as a baby to earth. Then when he was a man, Jesus died on the cross for us so we could all go to heaven with Him and Heavenly Father."
     Meagan nodded her head. "My Sunday school teacher told me."
     "We are so glad that Jesus came to live on earth to do that for us, but do you know what?"
     "What, Grandma?" Meagan's trusting brown eyes stared into her grandmother's sober face.
     "Jesus died. And do you think his mama, Mary, or his earthly Father was sad?"
     " Oh, yes!" Meagan's solemnly nodded.
     "Well, he was God's son too. Do you think God was sad when his son died on the cross?"
     Meagan's eyes narrowed. "God's son died, like my baby died...only Jesus was a big son and not a baby?" Her little mouth frowned. "Would God be sad that my baby died too?"
     "Yes, I think he would be." Anna nodded soberly. Meagan's eyes lit up.
     "But Grandma! Jesus died a long time ago so he is already in heaven, right?"
     "Yes, Sweetheart. Jesus is in Heaven."
     "Well, then God and Jesus can take care of all my baby sisters until me and mama and daddy can get back to heaven!" Meagan wrapped her arms around Anna's neck and squeezed tight. She pulled back with a happy expression on her face. "I'm so glad! My babies will be so happy to see Jesus! That is why we say 'Happy Christmas', right Grandma? Because we are happy that Jesus came to the earth as a baby!" Meagan clapped her hands and bounced up and down. "I can't wait to tell Mommy! It will help her not cry if she knows our baby is with Jesus."
    Anna wiped the tears that finally leaked out. "Yes, Sweetheart, It will make us all happy to know our babies are with Jesus."  Anna hugged her sweet granddaughter again. "Merry Christmas, Meagan."
     Just then the crunch of tires sounded from outside.  Meagan ran to the window.
    "They're here! They're here!" Meagan turned to smile at her grandma. "Thanks Grandma for telling me about Jesus. I love you so much!"
    "I love you too, Sweetie." Anna smiled as she watched her son wave at his little daughter from outside. Anna picked up the forgot baby Jesus.
     "Thank you, God, for your son," Anna murmured as she turned and replaced the ceramic baby back into it's cradle on the mantle. "Merry Christmas, baby Jesus."

 Story #2  "Secret Santas"  Nov 14, 2016

The children were doing their best to sit still. Three-year-old Abby poked five-year-old Mark and ten-year-old Calvin tugged on eight-year-old Sara’s braid.
      “Maaammaaa!” Sara’s wail filled the room. “Calvin pulled my hair!”
      “Did not!” Calvin folded his arm with a scowl.
      “Okay you guys.” Lisa Lake frowned at her children. She tried to be patient with them. After all, she called them to sit down and then had to answer a fifteen minute phone call from her mother. That wasn’t their fault.
      “What is the plan, mom?” Calvin asked impatiently. “You said you had a plan?”
      Lisa clapped her hands. “Yes! The plan!” She smiled secretively at her children. “Who knows what month it is?”
     “Christmas!” They all hollered together with shouts of glee.
      “Do you have a Christmas plan, Mom?” Calvin said with a smile. “Do we get to eat candy?”
       Mom smiled. “It is better than that. Let’s make cookies and buy candy for someone else!” Her eyes were wide, her hands opened out in front of her as if offering her kids a great gift.
     They all scowled together, looking just like miniatures of their father. He never liked her ideas either.
     “Oh, come on! I it will be fun to do something nice for someone else....and eat the leftovers!” Her beaming face finally got the response she was hoping for.
     “All right! I get the beaters!”, “I get the bowl!”, “I want the bowl!”, “No! I want the beaters!” “Can I have it, mom?” Their little voices filled the room.
     “We all get to have something yummy!” mom reassured them.
     Calvin stood up, raising his hand as if he were in school. “What’s the whole plan, mom?”
     Mom reached out and wrapped her arms around her oldest son.
     “We are going to deliver ‘Secret Santa’ to people in our neighborhood.”
      Finally she got the reaction she was hoping for from the start.
     Gasps, big eyes, and wide grins! “Secret Santa! Yay!” The children were all jumping up and down pumping their arms. This was going to be great!

Across the street from their own rented home, was a Hispanic family consisting of two grandparents, a daughter and her four children. A ten-year-old girl, a set of five-year-old twin boys, and a two-year-old girl. They seemed like a nice group of people even though they never did much together as neighbors. They waved when Lisa waved, but nothing much else had transpired in the friendship department.
    Lisa was hoping that by making a friendly attempt to be Secret Santa that the friendship doors would open for them all.
     The first day of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ arrived. The first day they delivered cookies in a decorated lunch bag. Calvin was the oldest and the family decided that he would make the secret drop offs.  The kids were excited and pumped! The Christmas spirit of giving was strong in the kids.
      The second day they delivered a package containing gingerbread men. Each day that week they delivered a package of some kind of treat or candy. On Friday, Calvin returned from his secret drop off to report sad news. His face was one of dejection.
     “Mom, all of our gifts are still on the porch. They haven’t taken any inside.”
     “What? What do you mean?” Lisa asked, wiping her hands on her apron. The kids were cleaning up from the bread they had made that night.
      “All of the presents are still sitting on the porch!” The kids all begin to make sounds of their disappointment.
     “I’m not gonna be their friend now!” Tears formed in Sara’s eyes. “They don’t like us!” Frowns were all around Lisa.
     “No, that is not true. They don’t even know it is us.” Lisa’s eyes narrowed in thought. “It will be okay. Maybe there are just waiting for the right moment to collect their presents.” In her own heart she was wondering if there was, indeed, a problem.

 The next day when the two older kids were in school and the little ones were down for their nap, Lisa slipped out of the house and crossed the street to their neighbors. She knocked on the door.
      A young woman of about twenty-five answered the door.
      “Hi.” Lisa began nervously, “I’m Lisa Lake. I live across the street. Do you have a minute?”
      The girl shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah, I guess.” She eyed Lisa with suspicion.
       “You know, our kids seem to be the same age ...and we were hoping to be friends...We ...uh....well, the fact is, my kids and I have been trying to be a Secret Santa to your family...and well....” Lisa pointed to the pile of gifts. “The kids noticed that you weren’t taking in the gifts they brought you during the night.”
      “Those are from you?” The girl asked a light sparked in her eyes.
      “Well, yes. We just are trying to be neighborly.” Lisa smiled into the young women’s eyes. The girl bent to retrieve the small packages. “I know it isn’t much, but the kids are enjoying thinking of things for your family.”
     “My father wouldn’t allow us to collect them. A couple of years ago, we had pranksters at Christmas. They left a brown bag like this was full of dog poop.” The girl frowned. “They did it for several nights. It was disgusting!”
       “Oh, wow! That must have been horrible!” Lisa took a deep breath. “Well, I promise there are only nice gifts in these packages.” Lisa smiled again. “Do you think your father would be okay if we continued to drop off you know it is us?”
     “Yes. Sure.” The woman grinned. “I will tell papa that it is you. My name is Gloria.”
     “Oh great! Thanks, Gloria!” Lisa backed off the porch. “Merry Christmas!”

The secret thrill continued for the children when Calvin reported that the gifts were no longer on the porch and each night the new gift was gone.
    About three days before Christmas, Lisa heard a commotion from outside. The young mother was running back and forth, calling frantically. Lisa went out to the street.
      “Gloria, what’s wrong?” Lisa rushed to her.
      Frantic, tear filled eyes focused on Lisa. “I can’t find my baby! She is gone! I can’t find her anywhere!”
     “Okay, let me help you look.” Lisa led the girl back to the house. “Maybe we should call the police and get more help.”
    “Okay...Okay...Okay...” the strain was causing the girl to shake. “I think she opened the back door and got out. Oh God!” the young mother cried out, “Help me find my baby girl!”
     Lisa met distraught grandparents as well. Then she helped them call 911. An officer was there in less than a minute.
     He was asking questions about the young two-year-old’s description. Then as he called for back up to help search, Lisa noticed a sleeping young child on the barstool. It was pushed up under the counter. Lisa had barely noticed the edge of a shoe sticking out.
     “Oh, look, one of your twins has fallen asleep. Would you like me to carry him to a bed?”
     Gloria looked confused. “No, my twins are visiting their father today.” She moved around the counter and then let out a scream, yelled, “My baby!” and passed out onto the hard kitchen floor.
      The grandparents came running from the living room as the police officer checked out Gloria. Lisa pulled out the chair and picked up whom she assumed was the two-year-old missing child.
      The little girl woke up and cried out when she saw a stranger holding her. She reached for the grandmother.
     “Oh, my mija! You have caused much upset, baby!” The old woman held the squirming child close for a moment.
     Gloria was being helped up from the floor with the assistance of the officer. The man in uniform called in that the child had been found. He asked if Gloria needed an ambulance, which the family refused. The officer nodded to the household and left.
     Lisa moved into the living room with the family. As they fawned over the child, Lisa noticed the small tree in the corner. Under the tree were the small packages from their Secret Santa night drop offs that Calvin had delivered...and nothing else. Her heart went out to the people.
     The grandparents left the room and Lisa patted Gloria’s shoulder.
     “I’m glad she is safe.”
     “Thank you! Thank you for finding my child!” Tears rushed to Gloria’s eyes again.
     “Gloria, I’m glad I could help. Can I ask a question?”
     “Anything!” Gloria answered insistently.
     “Why haven’t you opened your gifts from us?” Lisa motioned towards the tree.
     “That is all the Christmas our family will have on Christmas day.” Gloria shrugged. “My parents are not wealthy, and my family is a great burden to them.”
     “I’m sure they are glad to be helping you.” Lisa tried to sooth the hurt look in Gloria’s eyes.
      “I am a disappointment to my papa.” She hung her head in shame. Lisa didn’t know what to say to such a sorrowful thought.
     “Well, I need to head home.” Lisa’s mind was whirling now. She had some shopping to do!

Lisa sat with her checkbook in hand. She had only thirty dollars until payday...after Christmas. She had planned her own children’s Christmas for months in advance to be sure “Santa” would be visiting their home. Their cupboards were full of the foods she would be using to make their Christmas dinner also. Well, it wasn’t much, but they could do something. She could hardly wait to speak to the children about her new phase of their Christmas plan.
    She gathered the kids around and Lisa explained the situation to her young children.
     Sara placed a hand on her mother’s shoulder. “It will be okay, mama. Santa will be coming in two nights and then they will have lots of toys.” Lisa smiled, but her heart dropped. She couldn’t burst the bubble of her small child while they were helping the family.
     “Well, sometimes it is nice to get a gift from a friend, don’t you think?” The children all nodded enthusiastically. “Head to the car!”

The family walked the aisle of Walmart. What could they get with her small amount of money? She couldn’t spend all $30.00. She had to be able to buy milk and have enough to keep her checkbook opened.
     “Let’s get them all a bike, mom!” Calvin stopped at the bike rack. His hand caressing a boy’s racer bike. An identical one was sitting in their shed at home with the door padlock shut.
     “I’m sorry, Calvin, I don’t have that much money. We can only pick out a few small gifts. Okay?”
       Sara started tapping her arm. “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom....I have a great idea!” Lisa rolled her eyes.
     “What? Sara, what is your idea?”
      “Let’s get them a large set of play dishes and a little kitchen. They could all share it!” Lisa sighed. A tike kitchen was also hidden way in that shed at home for Sara.
      “Big bird!” Mark exclaimed. “The boy kids would like a Big Bird.” Mark had picked up a large stuffed Big Bird, a character from a children’s show he sat glued to every morning.
      “Those are all great ideas, but I was thinking a little truck or a ball or a play set of jewelry.” Lisa looked at the crestfallen faces.
      “But she wants a kitchen like me!” Sara whined. Lisa pulled her basket to an empty aisle.
      “Big Bird!” Mark shook the edge of the basket causing Abby to cry out in fear.
      “Okay, look you guys. I don’t have a lot of money, so we have to think smaller, but fun. We want to help but it I don’t have a lot to spend.”
     “Just write a check, mom!” Sara smiled at her wise suggestion.
     “Yeah!” answered Calvin, “Or just go the bank and they can give you the money.”
     “It doesn’t work that way. I’m sorry, but I thought it would be fun to give a little gift, so they can have something to open on Christmas day.” She eyed each of them. “So help out by finding little toys that don’t cost too much.”

It took over an hour, but the family found a gift for all the children and the three adults. They picked out two hot wheel cars for the two twins.  Santa’s helpers found a small kit of play food for the little girl and a set of pop-bead jewelry for the two-year-old. 
     Next they found a new hair brush for the mom, a hankie for the grandpa, and a new dish towel set for the grandma. They picked up the jug of milk for the family and then Lisa remembered she needed butter.
      Lisa had exactly $4.59 left in her account when she was done with her purchases.
      They went home and wrapped the new gifts—and then waited for the time to deliver their gift for December 23rd— a box of candy canes. Since they were out shopping instead of home baking, they still needed a gift for that night. Tomorrow would be Christmas Eve. They would deliver their wrapped gifts in person and wish the family a ‘Merry Christmas’!

The next day brought great excitement. The kids were hyper and full of Christmas spirit. The house was all decorated with festive reds and greens. The tree stood in the corner of the living room with blinking lights—the tree skirt covered with gifts. They had read the story of baby Jesus’ birth and now they were waiting....just waiting!
      Finally 5:00 p.m came—the appointed hour to deliver the ‘Secret Santa’ gifts.
     “Maaaammmaa!” wailed Sara. She had been keeping watch at the window. “They just left! They drove away!”
      “We better stop them!” shouted Calvin as he quickly headed to the door.
      “Wait! No!” Lisa lifted her voice to get Calvin’s attention. She dropped her voice as he stopped. “It’s Christmas Eve. Some people go to church on Christmas Eve. They will be back.”
     “Okay. I will keep watching for them.” Sara turned around and pressed her noise to the window. All of her siblings joined her on the couch. For once Lisa didn’t scold the kids for having their feet on the furniture.

“They’re back.” Calvin shouted.  Lisa heard the collective gasp of all the children before they all shouted together.
       “They’re back!” The children’s voices chanted it over and over.
       “Let’s get going, mom!”  The kids all ran to the dining table to collect the wrapped gifts. Lisa had added a plate of homemade candies and popcorn balls to the collection of gifts.
     “Okay. Hold up.” Lisa held up her hands. “Put on your coats first.” Moans filled the air. “Hurry up or I will leave without you.” Her voice held a smile, she knew those little feet would move fast to do her bidding.
     “Okay, I’m ready!” Mark beamed up to her. “Time to be Secret Santa!”

They knocked on the front door and it was quickly swung open. Lisa grinned. They were waiting to catch the secret gift givers tonight and there her family stood in front of their neighbors ready to confess. Lisa started singing the Christmas carol they had practiced and then went into ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
     “Come in!” the gruff voice of the old man made the kids a little nervous. They paused until Lisa urged them into the house.
      Gloria rushed forward and gave Lisa a hug. “Merry Christmas!”
      “Merry Christmas to you, too!” Lisa nodded to the kids. They rushed around the room handing out the gifts. Gloria instantly collected the gifts much to the children’s dismay.
     “We will open them tomorrow on Christmas Day.” Her smile held an apology to Lisa.
      Lisa offered the plate of goodies. “Then maybe they can at least have a Christmas Eve treat?”
      Gloria looked at her father who nodded, so Gloria said, “Yes! FĂ©liz Navidad!”

Later that night as she tucked her children in bed, her oldest son sighed.
     “Mama, that was really fun and I have a really happy feeling in my heart. Did you see that the only Christmas they had under their little tree was from our Secret Santa gifts?”
     “Yes, I did notice.”
     “I love you, Mama.” Calvin pulled his covers over up to his neck and yawned. “Maybe we should save up some money and buy them bigger gifts next year. Can we, Mama?”

      “That is a very good idea, Calvin. Good night.” Lisa stood up and turned off the light, then she whispered. “Merry Christmas, Calvin.”

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