The Glass Snowman
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It was Christmas Eve and most people were busy doing their last minute shopping and stocking up on food for the holidays.
This was not the case in the Reed household.
Mrs. Reed looked at the sad excuse for a Christmas tree that stood near the window.
This had been a bad year for the family as she had lost her job and her husband had been sent overseas for Christmas and the New Year.
Her young son and daughter were upset that their Dad wasn't going to be there on Christmas morning to watch them unwrap their presents, not that they would have many presents to unwrap as money was very short.
They only had the Christmas tree because their neighbour hadn't strapped it on to his car properly when he bought it and half the branches were broken or missing because it fell off!
He had thrown it out and bought a new one.
Mrs. Reed, and the children, had decorated the tree with the old baubles the children had made a couple of years earlier.
The Christmas lights kept flickering on and off and she was sure they wouldn't last until the New Year.
With a big sigh Mrs. Reed decided to do some baking so at least the children would come home to the smell of home cooking.
Bouncer the dog lay on the floor eyeing the Christmas tree with interest.
He could smell the pop-corn that the children had threaded and hung on the tree the night before and he just loved pop-corn.
He wandered over to the tree and sniffed at the pop-corn, then he took a small lick but he just couldn't resist the taste and took a bite.
He tugged at the pop-corn but it was threaded around the tree and the more he tugged the more the tree started to lean over.
He gave one last tug and the tree toppled over with a big crash.
Mrs. Reed came running in and saw what Bouncer had done.
Tears sprang to her eyes.
She hadn't thought this Christmas could get any worse, but it just had.
When the children arrived home they helped their Mum re-dress the tree but the Christmas lights gave their final flicker before going out.
"Never mind," Mrs. Reed told the children, "we can light some pretty candles tomorrow and it will be just as cosy."
The children had been out to buy their Mum a Christmas present and had seen a beautiful glass snowman that would look wonderful on top of the tree.
They had found the snowman in an old shop down a side street.
In hand painted writing above the shop it said,
"YE OLDE TRINKET SHOPPE"
What made them wander down that street they didn't know but they had seen the glass Snowman through the window and it seemed to glow at them. Knowing that their Christmas tree fairy was old and scruffy they decided it needed re-placing.
They carefully wrapped the Snowman in tissue and placed it under the tree.
The snowman was made out of a very fine glass which changed colour as you turned it.
Its eyes, which were meant to look like tiny pieces of coal, were in fact a very dark blue and its nose, which was supposed to be a carrot, glowed as though it had a light in it.
Once the children had gone to bed and she didn't have to pretend to be cheerful for their sakes anymore, Mrs. Reed went into the kitchen to prepare the chicken for their Christmas dinner the next day, it was only a small chicken as she couldn't afford a nice big turkey.
Mrs. Reed made herself a cup of tea and sat by the fire looking at their sad Christmas tree. She noticed that her fairy had a broken wing and a tear in her dress so she took out her needle and thread to repair it.
"Even you look sad this Christmas," she said to the fairy.
She remembered the wonderful Christmas's she had shared with this fairy over the years.
As she sewed she talked to the fairy as though it was human and could understand everything she said.
Of course she knew it was just a Christmas tree ornament, but it did make her feel better to have someone to share her troubles with.
She gently placed the fairy back on the top of the tree, turned out the lights and went to bed.
Christmas morning had arrived and Mrs. Reed was shaken awake by her children who were babbling about it being absolutely wonderful.
"Oh Mum do come and look, it's just like the pictures in that old Christmas story book of yours."
Mrs. Reed was only half awake and followed the children downstairs.
As she reached the hallway she could smell the wonderful aroma of turkey cooking.
They all stood just inside of the living room blinking as they couldn't believe their eyes.
There in all its splendour stood the most beautiful Christmas tree they had ever seen. There were hundreds of tiny twinkling lights and coloured baubles of every colour of the rainbow.
Under the tree were dozens of presents wrapped in shiny paper with huge red bows.
They were so amazed they couldn't utter a word.
Mrs. Reed and the children ran to the kitchen and there on the table was enough food to feed an army. There was a huge cooked ham, mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake, sausage rolls and even a big glass dish of trifle.
Mrs. Reed slowly opened the oven door and there inside was the biggest turkey she had ever seen. On the other shelves potatoes and parsnips were slowly roasting and bubbling away, on the top of the cooker were pans of vegetables.
"But what? I don't understand," she started to say.
"Neither do I," her son said, "but who cares?"
They went back to the living room and looked around.
It was lit by a wonderful golden glow from all the candles scattered around the room.
Sitting on top of the huge tree was her fairy, who now had a beautiful new dress. Her wings were tipped in silver and on the branch below her was the glass snowman the children had bought.
There was the sound of car doors slamming shut and the next thing they knew the front door opened and in walked the children's Dad followed by several strangers.
He explained that their flight had been cancelled due to bad weather in the country they were flying to, so most of them were stranded for Christmas.
Mr. Reed had invited them back to his house until new arrangements could be made.
With tears of joy in her eyes, Mrs. Reed said. "Come in, come in, there's plenty of food for everyone, please come and join us."
No one noticed the Snowman on the Christmas tree slowly disappear.
Later at "Ye Olde Trinket Shoppe" the old man said. "Hello my little friend, glad to have you back."
With a chuckle he added. "At least until next Christmas Eve."
The Snowman's carrot coloured nose glowed brightly knowing that there was a very happy family enjoying their Christmas.
The old man carefully wrapped the Snowman in tissue and put him away for another year.
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