Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Facebook Christmas Story

This is one of those alternate ending stories where you can choose what happens next. The story is from a prompt I had on my  Facebook page, December 19th and I got some wonderful and wacky ideas from my prompt that is in bold below.

Once upon a time there was a woman who couldn't afford a Christmas tree for her children.

She'd hung a strand of lights that had been in her neighbor's garbage the week before, on her wall in the shape of a triangle! But her children were young and really wanted a tree. A real tree that was decorated and had presents underneath from Santa. The mother knew that she couldn't afford to buy any toys or clothes for the children this year. She could barely pay the utilities to keep the heat on. And already she worked two jobs and had to leave the ten year old girl in charge of the three younger children. The thought of stealing a tree crept into her mind. She would do it if she knew for certain she wouldn't get caught. Going to jail for Christmas would be horrible for the kids now that she was the only living parent with no relatives to take them in. 
So she did the only thing she could do and that was to pray for a miracle! 

First Ending
It was the day of Christmas Eve and the mother was desperate. Maybe she couldn't buy gifts for her children beyond a few food items, but she was not going to let her children suffer because they couldn't pay the $60 for a cut tree this year. She would go out to the woods and cut one down, which wasn't quiet the same as stealing from a Christmas tree lot but still not very legal. When the younger children had gone to bed, the mother told her oldest child she would be right back and digging in her husband's old tools, found a hatchet.
They didn't live far from a greenbelt park and the fact that the moon was buried behind snow-filled clouds worked in her favor. In the park, the mother chopped down a small sapling and when she got it home, she dragged the tree into the house, much to the amazement of the older daughter.
They propped the tree in the corner of the small living room and stepped back to admire their tree.
"Forgive me," the mother whispered to no one in particular. Luckily it was snowing outside and her tracks from the park would be covered by morning.
Then, her daughter screamed.
Looking in the direction of her daughter's finger, the mother saw a small chipmunk clinging to an inside branch. The animal looked frightened. She'd taken this creature's home. Knowing it needed to get outside and back to the park, the mother went outside to where her neighbor's oak tree stood. She dug in a place where she knew were acorns, took a few in her hand and trudged back to her house. The chipmunk was half way to the open door when it saw the acorns in the mother's open hand. The mother laid three acorns on the floor and watching the chipmunk eat the first one, she felt better and smiled at her daughter who was huddled on their threadbare couch.
As the animal ate, it got bigger to where it was the size of a small dog. The mother's mouth fell open. The tree, also, got bigger and sprouted colorful Christmas lights and ornaments. 
By now, the younger children had been wakened by their sister's scream and were watching sheepishly from behind the hall table, their eyes wide to see the magical tree. Not only was a Christmas tree materializing before their eyes but presents appeared underneath. One for each person in their family.
Turning back to the doorway, they saw that the chipmunk was gone. The acorns too. 
The mother looked outside but all she could see was little footprints down the porch stairs and down the walk, headed in the direction of the park.

Second Ending

The next day, she left to go to her early job as a cashier at Wallmart and saw something strange on her porch. In the early morning darkness, a stranger had bought the family a tree and placed on their porch with lights attached and little presents hidden in the branches for the four children. Who had done such a wonderful thing for her family? 
The woman was so overjoyed with the gift from a stranger that she felt the need to pay it forward.
So she went to her job at Walmart and bought Moon Pies with some Walmart money she earned by signing up people for a credit card that day. She left them on the porch that night in hopes that the mysterious person would come back but they didn't. So, she gave the Moon Pies to her children on Christmas morning as a special treat.

Third Ending

 Later that day, her neighbor was putting her gently used tree and decorations on the curb for trash pick up cause the neighbor had gone to Hobby Lobby and hit the 60% off sale, buying herself a fluffier, greener tree. The mother first asked if the tree and decorations were up for grabs and was told she was welcome to them. While she was inside her neighbor's house, a man who everyone called The Grinch, due to his nasty demeanor, stole the tree and ornaments. Dragging them back to his house, the neighbor confronted him and said the mother deserved the tree and ornaments more because of her children. The Grinch started to cry and handed over the box of ornaments.
"Tell you what," the mother said. "If you help me take it to my house, I'll invite you to Christmas dinner." 
The Grinch already had his turkey thawing on the counter and offered to bring the main dish if he could spend the day with the family.
It was agreed and the other neighbor who'd upgraded her tree, even threw in a few extra toys and gifts she'd purchased for her grandchildren but decided against at the last minute.


KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author who lives in Seattle, writing Suspense and Romance. Find her on Amazoto see how she opened shows for Jamie Foxx and The Smother's Brothers in Hawaii, then became a novelist.

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