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On Christmas Day in the Morning   By: (1866-1959)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: "'I HAVEN'T GIVEN YOU ANY CHRISTMAS PRESENT. WILL I DO?'"]

On Christmas Day in the Morning

By GRACE S. RICHMOND

Illustrated by CHARLES M. RELYEA

GARDEN CITY NEW YORK DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY MCMXI

COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY THE RIDGWAY THAYER COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1908, BY DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

Illustrations

"'I haven't given you any Christmas present. Will I do?'" Frontispiece

"Stumbling over their own feet and bundles ... the crew poured into the warm kitchen"

"'The children!' she was saying. 'They they John they must be here '"

"'Merry Christmas, mammy and daddy!'"

On Christmas Day in the Morning

And all the angels in heaven do sing, On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day; And all the bells on earth do ring, On Christmas Day in the morning.

OLD SONG.

That Christmas Day virtually began a whole year beforehand, with a red hot letter written by Guy Fernald to his younger sister, Nan, who had been married to Samuel Burnett just two and one half years. The letter was read aloud by Mrs. Burnett to her husband at the breakfast table, the second day after Christmas. From start to finish it was upon one subject, and it read as follows:

DEAR NAN:

It's a confounded, full grown shame that not a soul of us all got home for Christmas except yours truly, and he only for a couple of hours. What have the blessed old folks done to us that we treat them like this? I was invited to the Sewalls' for the day, and went, of course you know why. We had a ripping time, but along toward evening I began to feel worried. I really thought Ralph was home he wrote me that he might swing round that way by the holidays but I knew the rest of you were all wrapped up in your own Christmas trees and weren't going to get there.

Well, I took the seven thirty down and walked in on them. Sitting all alone by the fire, by George, just like the pictures you see of "The Birds All Flown," and that sort of thing. I felt gulpish in my throat, on my honour I did, when I looked at them. Mother just gave one gasp and flew into my arms, and Dad got up more slowly he has that darned rheumatism worse than ever this winter and came over and I thought he'd shake my hand off. Well I sat down between them by the fire, and pretty soon I got down in the old way on a cushion by mother, and let her run her fingers through my hair, the way she used to and Nan, I'll be indicted for perjury if her hand wasn't trembly. They were so glad to see me it made my throat ache.

Ralph had written he couldn't get round, and of course you'd all written and sent them things jolly things, and they appreciated them. But blame it all they were just dead lonesome and the whole outfit of us within three hundred miles, most within thirty!

Nan next Christmas it's going to be different. That's all I say. I've got it all planned out. The idea popped into my head when I came away last night. Not that they had a word of blame not they. They understood all about the children, and the cold snap, and Ed's being under the weather, and Oliver's wife's neuralgia, and Ralph's girl in the West, and all that. But that didn't make the thing any easier for them. As I say, next year But you'll all hear from me then. Meanwhile run down and see them once or twice this winter, will you, Nan? Somehow it struck me they aren't so young as they used to be... Continue reading book >>




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