Jeff Green | Dec 17, 2009
Back to HomeChristmas Edition - December 17, 2009Christmas 2009
A Christmas Messageby Debbie Pelley-Hudson
Christmas Traditions in Ireland
Country Christmasby Kelly Calthorpe
Early Literacy: Opening More than Presents
Local Music to Stuff Your Stockings withRecipes
The Brightest Star
The Christmas Quiltby Kelly Calthorpe
The Christmas Giftby Pastor Ken WaltonCountry Christmasby Kelly Calthorpe (with a nod to O. Henry)
One evening, the fire was blazing in a small home in a quiet part of the country where there aren’t any streetlights, no corner stores, no traffic and where, when you looked up in the sky at night, you could see the stars shining brilliantly. An older couple had finished dinner and retired each to their own corner of the room where they pursued their hobbies. Now, it wasn’t like there was a line drawn down the middle of the room, but when Mike stepped onto Ellie’s side, amongst the fabric and quilting notions, he started wiping his hands on his pants and became unsure of why exactly he had crossed the line. And Ellie, when she found herself among the camo gear, the hunting bow and decoys, realized that Mike really didn’t really hear her speaking any more clearly than when she was behind the sewing machine.
While Mike was away at the camp, Ellie’s tender feelings for her husband and home returned and she decided to put up a Christmas tree to surprise him when he got home. And surprise him it did, for as Mike walked in the door, he bellowed, “What the hell is that?” and he pointed to the Christmas tree in the middle of the room. Now, perhaps there was a better way for Mike to express his joy at the efforts of his wife, but it was too late, Ellie’s feelings were hurt and for that reason, Mike found himself without a conversation companion, as Ellie had deemed that a suitable punishment and would be not speaking to the oaf that she lived with.
And so days turned into weeks, Mike watched Hockey Night in Canada with a beer in his hand, tuning his bow, and Ellie hunched over her sewing machine hidden behind a 2 watt lightbulb and the rattling of her sewing machine.
Well, it was bound to happen and one night it did, Ellie could not contain her vow of silence and muttered to herself, “This damn machine…it’s broken again!!” and continued to bang on it hoping against hope that beating the machine to death would fix it. Meanwhile across the room, Mike cursed his bow, “Damn thing, it’s broken again!!” And in the moment that followed, you could have heard a pin drop as Ellie’s eyes met Mike’s and they shared a long look that said, “I know where you are coming from. I understand.” Then, they looked away and continued to try to fix their broken machines, and their broken hearts, for in that moment, love found its way into their hearts once more and Mike thought, “Darn, wouldn’t Ellie be surprised if I got her that fabric kit and pattern book she loves for Christmas?” and Ellie thought, “Shucks, wouldn’t Mike be surprised if I got him some new arrows for his bow for Christmas?
The next question was, how is Mike going to pay for all that fabric? Mike thought and thought, there just wasn’t enough money in the account to get the fabric and pattern for the blanket that Ellie wanted. He did do snowplowing jobs on the side, but he had already spent that money on getting his cross bow fixed. He set his beer down on the coffee table next to his cross bow and he had an idea. It was a horrible idea, but what could he do? He realized he had broken Ellie’s heart and this seemed to be the only way to make it up to her. Mike went to town.
And how would Ellie buy some arrows for her Mike? She didn’t have enough in her “cash stash” to get the arrows for Mike that he wanted. She had already spent the money from her craft sales on getting her sewing machine fixed. She set her scissors down beside her machine, and then she had an idea. It was a horrible idea, but what could she do? She realized that perhaps she had carried on the conversation boycott for longer than necessary and this seemed the only way to make it up to him. Ellie went to town.
Christmas morning came as they knew it would. Ellie started some breakfast and Mike put on the coffee. When each had shared a warm smile and a warm breakfast, Mike suggested they look under the tree. Each was surprised to see a box for themselves.
Mike unwrapped his gift from Ellie. There were the finest arrows he had ever seen; nothing could get away from these babies, they felt warm and smooth in his hands, and the tips could clearly pierce a hide. Then he looked over to the wall where his cross bow was usually hung and dropped his eyes. Ellie saw this and also looked over and asked, “Where’s your bow?”, sheepishly Mike told her how terrible he felt for his harsh words and how he decided to sell his bow in order to buy her Christmas present that she had yet to unwrap. Ellie unwrapped the gift with her name on it and gasped in surprise as she pulled out a fabric kit and pattern for the quilt she had been wanting to make for a very long time. She caressed the tight weave and marveled at the colours and thought that she could not wait to see it pieced together. Then, she looked over to the empty space where her sewing machine used to sit and Mike’s eyes followed. “Where’s your sewing machine?” he asked. Then Ellie told him how terrible she felt for all these weeks of not speaking and pancake suppers and how she decided to sell her sewing machine so she could buy some new arrows for his bow.
Then she giggled, and then he chuckled, and then they were both snorting and laughing, trying to catch their breath and suddenly it seemed, the room was not divided at all.