The following Snippet is from
A Christmas Promise
Annie hid the completed dress and called to the children.
“’Bout time!” Samuel grumbled as he burst through the door. “Do we get our presents now?”
“No, not until the mornin’, Samuel,” Annie responded in the calm manner she had cultivated over the years from dealing with her wayward husband and disruptive son. “You know that.”
“Mrs. Clayton was a-sayin’ they open a gift on Christmas Eve,” Samuel countered. “Reckon we outta, too.”
“That’s not how our family does it Sam. You know that. If we open our gifts tonight, there won’t be anything for Christmas morning.”
“Figures,” Samuel snorted. “That’s mighty sorry, Ma.”
“I’m sorry, Samuel, but that’s how it’s a-goin’ to be. I guess we might read the Christmas story from the New Testament,” Annie said in an attempt to steer her son away from his disappointment. “Reckon it’d be best, what with it being what Christmas is all about, not just a-gettin’ presents.”
“But we like a-gettin’ presents, Ma,” Arletta piped up.
“I know, Letta,” Annie remained calm, refusing to allow the frustration she felt worming its way through her insides to erupt in her voice or expression. But we need to remember that it’s because Jesus was born into this world to save us that we celebrate Christmas. And, if you both listen to just a smidgen of the story, I’ve a special treat I’ve saved for you all. But, you gotta wait until we’re done a-readin’. Come around the table, now, and I’ll get the lamp.”
The three had no sooner settled in their chairs than they heard the sound of boots stomping on the back porch. A knocking on the outside door to the kitchen followed.
“That Saint Nicholas, Ma?” Arletta asked, her voice full of wonder. Samuel snickered in response. Annie glanced over to Samuel with a warning frown.
“Too early for him, Letta. Probably one of the hands a-needin’ something from Mr. Clayton. You two wait here while I see who it is.”
Annie picked up the oil lamp that had been sitting in the middle of the table. She heard the knock again before she could get to the door that separated the kitchen from the partially covered porch that served as a mud room and winter laundry room.
“Who’s there?” she called through the solid wood.
“It’s Sgt. Jenkins, ma’am.”