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A Family Christmas
By Anita Koelsch

There once was a girl named Sarah. She lived in a little house by a forest. Sarah had a big brother, a little sister, and a mother and a father. Her big brother's name was Jonny, her little sister's name was Caroline, her mother's name was Lesa, and her father's name was Paul.  They were a happy family, but they were poor. Father had to go hunting every few weeks.
It was a week until Christmas, and Father said that he must go hunting, and might not return in time for Christmas. Once Father left, there was silence in the room except for the sound of the fire popping and sizzling, and you could hear Caroline sobbing softly.  Caroline had soon sobbed herself to sleep.

Then Jonny said, "Father never stays with us for Christmas!" It was true; last Christmas he had been getting firewood and had not come home for Christmas. Mother replied, "He's keeping the family strong, healthy and warm.  So be grateful."

In her heart, Sarah felt lonely even though she had her family. "Why does he have to go somewhere every Christmas?" she thought to herself. Her father was out somewhere in the dark, cold, dangerous open.

Soon it was Christmas Eve, and the only person in the Christmas spirit was Mother. She would dance, play the piano, and sing Christmas songs. Everyone else was slumped in a chair or playing quietly in a corner.

That night, there was a knock at the door. Mother went to open it...Father was standing at the entrance! "Don't tell the kid's you're here!"

The next day, Christmas had arrived!  But no one was excited. As soon as Sarah got to the tree, there was the face she loved. "Father!" she cried! "Yes, Sarah!" As soon as everyone had greeted Father, it was present time! Since they were poor, they only got things like wooden dolls, and sets of tools. Sarah got wooden spoons, a doll, a story book, and a sled. Jonny got a hammer, a bow and arrow, and he also got a sled! Caroline got a doll, a teddy bear, some toy horses, and a tricycle!

Sarah ran up to Father. "Father, you are the best gift of all!"

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