06 The Christmas Promise

Blue, red, green, and yellow lights blinked on the tiny tree. Blink, blink, blink. Timmy sighed.

No ornaments decorated the little tree, only a few strands of blinking lights he had found in the dumpster while searching for food to feed his family. Timmy stepped back and gave the tree a once over. It was sparse and tiny this year, not like the Oregon Sliver Tip his family had last year when his dad were alive, but at least they had a Christmas tree.

Blink, blink, blink. With each blink of the multicolored lights he felt a flicker of hope. Timmy remembered what his Sunday school teacher had told him. “Blue is for faith, red is for love, green is for blessings and yellow is for trust.”

Timmy fell to his knees. The cracked concrete floor was ice cold. He didn't notice the coldness of the room, only the warm glow coming from the blinking lights on the little tree. Blink, blink, blink. The lights sparkled on the tree. Timmy watched the lights as they faded into the tree. He prayed for a miracle. Timmy knew God would answer his prayers.

He prayed for a warm winter coat for his mother. Mama only has a tattered sweater and she’s coughs all the time Lord...

He prayed for a new dolly for his five year old sister Katie. Katie’s dolly has no hair and only one eye Lord...

For his little brother Stevie, Timmy prayed for a miracle. Lord, I am not asking for a toy for Stevie. Let Stevie walk again. Thank you Lord.

Timmy didn’t ask for anything. He didn’t think he needed anything. He loved his family so much he wanted them to have a very special Christmas. Blink, blink, blink. Timmy eyes grew heavy.

Faith and trust is what he had in God. Timmy knew God loved him and would bless his family with a Christmas miracle. Before falling asleep he checked on his mama , little brother and sister. He made sure they were warm. Timmy place another log on the fireplace ,crawled into bed with Stevie and fell asleep.

He dreamed of a magical Christmas. His daddy was there and tons of presents stood high under the Oregon Sliver Tip. The biggest angel stood atop the huge tree.

Timmy awoke to a loud noise. He looked around the room and didn’t see anything, only the lights on the Christmas tree. Blink, blink, blink. He snuggled closer to Stevie to kept warm and fell back asleep.

“Timmy, Timmy. Santa Claus has been here!” His sister jumped on the bed.

“Huh?” Timmy was still half asleep. Santa Claus?

He got up and went to put another log on the fire.

“Merry Christmas Timmy”, his mama wrapped her arms around him.

“Merry Christmas mama.”

“There's a tree and presents under it too! It’s a miracle.” Her eyes misted.

Timmy ran to the tree and presents toppled from underneath it. His mama walked over to where he stood. Timmy reached under the tree for a present. Katie ripped open her present. Inside the pretty pink paper lay her doll. Timmy started to cry.

“Mama, your next,” he placed a present decorated in purple paper into her lap.

She opened her present. It was her winter coat!

Timmy placed the big box next to his little brother. What could be in Stevie's box? Stevie ripped his present opened. Braces.

Stevie got braces so he could walk again. How?

Timmy didn’t see the last present under the tree.

“Here Timmy”, his mama handed him a present.

Timmy carefully opened the present. Nestled inside the white tissue paper lay a copy of Treasure Island. He couldn't believe that somehow he also received a special gift; a copy of his favorite book. Timmy knew a special promise had been kept, not only by himself to his dad, but from the Heavenly Father to him.

Timmy fell to his knees, wept and thanked the Lord.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for the Christmas promise you kept.”

Critique: To make a fully developed story, you need to flesh it out more. We need more characterization and a better defined sense of place. We need to know more about why the family is in this situation. We need to know what promises were made, when, why. You’ve got plenty of word count left. Use it to add depth and originality to the story. You also need to work on how to designate dialog.

What I liked best: The blink, blink, blink of the lights.

Publication ready: No. Needs work.


brendajean said...

I am loving these stories! I am definitely making my Christmas list today:) Thanks for sharing.

Thoughtful Reader said...

What a sweet but heartbreaking story! Here are a few notes:

- Timmy feels too young and too old at the same time. The name sounds really young, but he has such adult responsibilities. It's okay for him to have grown up too fast due to life hardships, but then why would he still believe in Santa Claus?

- 4th paragraph - You mention that the concrete floor is ice cold and then that Timmy didn't even feel it. This is a break in perspective.

- Several paragraphs down, beginning with "Timmy awoke"--there's a typo at the end of the paragraph; should be "to keep warm" instead of "to kept warm."

Overall it's really impressive that this story does so much in so little space.