Christmas 09: Christmas Alive

A long time ago when I was a boy Christmas was a time of candies and toys.

Then came the Christmas when all things would change, right then and there I knew I would never be the same.

It was cold, it was blowing, as the snow piled up outside, my father winked and said lets go for a ride. [Just noticed the rhyme. It’s a little distracting.]

My brothers and I knew not the destination, but grabbed our coats and gloves without hesitation. [The rhyme is forcing you into really awkward sentence structures.]

As we climbed in the car vying for our positions my father was smiling with sweet disposition, kids we are going to spread Christmas cheer, to those where loneliness is felt most the year.

We are heading to a home where Grampa had stayed, where there are others who are also dismayed, we will learn what’s most important about living, for kids you will see, time is a present, and therefore, for giving. [Watch your punctuation.]

My brother yelled out I don’t want to go, I don’t want to show up just to put on a show. I don’t know these people and they don’t know me, what benefit can this trip possibly be. As we all piped up about not wanting to go, I noticed something my father would not like to show, it was tear in his eye as he stared at the snow. I touched his shoulder, and said, we are happy to go.

My father spoke up and said, boys, with a smile, we wont stay for long, but a short while. I brought and wrapped these presents for you to give away, so pay close attention to the smiles today.

Ohhh we still wanted to go home and play with our toy’s, doesn’t seem like Christmas for us three misfortunate boys. My father had turned said ok, that’s enough, we are almost there, this isn’t that hard for you three boys to bear.

As the car pulled to the one story building with a smiling father and three uncooperative children. I looked at my brothers in complete disbelief all of the ribbons, lights and the wreaths. We never saw this place [What place? Tell us.] in such a festive manner with Merry Christmas above the door in a red banner. Our feelings softened as my father told us of fables of many great people who share no families table, these are good people and some are very alone, but with your help maybe it will feel more like a home.

We walked in the door with so many people around, so many kind faces made it impossible to frown. My father said boys your now on your own You each find someone that you feel is down and give them a present and lend them your ear, tell them what you have been doing all this past year. Give them a smile, and a hug if so heeded, listen and let them know they are needed. For all of these people were once your age. They have Christmas in their hearts, and were all on the same page.

As we trotted around saying, hi how are you, something inside our young hearts told us just what to do. As my youngest brother was sitting playing cards with a small group of folks, my older was in the corner telling his jokes. I felt alone, but just for a bit when I had noticed a man with a limp and a stick. It seemed he so tall standing straight up, and, standing out from them all, I stared as he stood by the door, as if he was looking for something more. Being so nervous to walk over and say hi, my father just whispered, go on give it a try.

So I walked over and tugged on his coat, with a nervous smile and a lump in my throat. Would you like to play cards or hear one of jokes?

He just turned and leaned on his stick. That’s ok son, my boy will be here quite quick, he told me he would able to make it this year. With the roads being so icy, he is late it appears. I cannot miss him its been more than a year. So I simply nodded and went on my way, and down to room, which was crowded, looking for others to play.

I walked around chatting, With what it seemed like a hundred people in that short time. but I couldn’t get that man off my mind. So I walked back down that long corridor, to see this man still staring, out that frosty door. In that moment I realized just what to do, I walked up to him, and asked how do you do? I like playing games but there is no way I will until I know your name. He just smiled and stated, my name is Alfred, and how are you, I said I am fine, but I am going to be here for such a short time. He said lets sit down and chat or play a game, but son he stated, not until you tell me your name. My name is Bruce, I said with a smile, have you lived here for quite awhile? I have lived here for many a years, since I first felt ill, I decided to come here at my own will.

Is your son not showing up I asked, then I felt sad. It appears that the roads must be too bad. My son is very busy this time of season, but deep in my heart I knew that wasn’t the reason. I felt so bad like never before its like loneliness had opened a door, and taken things from this kind man, the things that mean so much more. So there’s something I would like to be done, I call you grampa and pretend I’m your grandson. I told him my grandfather once lived here but he has been gone for almost five years. I really miss him this time of year, then down his cheek ran big tear. He said son, he’s not really gone, he is up there, watching, and caring he is always near. See all people must go at sometime or another but what you do, when you’re here, for yourself and for others is truly what matters. Christmas is a time of sharing and caring for those time to time, who have lost their bearings. Its like being on a ship, deep at rough seas, without a course plotted, where would you be. So follow the teachings and plot yourself a great course, and always live life without any remorse. Help while you can, try if you should, and keep Christmas alive, in your heart, for always, for good.

We talked for so long as hours passed by, he told me of days when men could not fly. He told me of hardships and of great times, he was interesting, funny and passionately kind, I looked at the clock and I was dreading the time. I knew my father would come for me soon, but I didn’t want to go, I loved being with Al in that big room. And at this time when my dad had found me, he said its time to go, I shrugged my shoulders, and told Al, I would miss him so. He gave me smile a hug and a kiss, then smiled and said Bruce do you know what I wish? You would come to see me when you have some time, I looked to my father, grinning with pride. Absolutely I will see you again, and you can finish your story of the wise men.

As we walked to the door, a man stepped through. He hugged Alfred, at that time I knew, this young man was his son, who told him he missed him, and he had brought everyone. I said with great cheer, Alfred, Alfred, Christmas is here!!! And for the second time, I saw his eyes swell with tears. With a smile I remember all through the years. My dad said lets go, and I grabbed my gloves knowing I had been touched by Christmas love. Alfred became a great friend to me…I suppose you already know….we shared so many stories for a decade or so. I can never forget the laughter we shared, all from a stranger who truly cared. On every Christmas. I can feel his caring touch, from a great man who taught me so much. So on this day let us all do what we can, to help and to comfort our fellow man. For Christmas isn’t boxes and gifts, its sharing and caring……..And we all can grant that wish.

This story does not lend itself to the internal rhyme you’ve attempted. It’s a touching and serious story and the rhyme makes it seem sing-song and trivial. Drop the rhyme. There are quite a few technical mistakes, especially with punctuation and sentence structure. I also don’t think the title is a good one for this story.

What I liked best: The concept. Dad takes boys to nursing home(?) to teach them the spirit of Christmas and giving.

Magazine ready? It would take some work, but if you did more showing of the events, rather than a straight telling of the story, gave us more description and detail, this could make a nice Christmas story.

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

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