The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas
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Vicky Austin's family does one special thing each day of December to prepare for Christmas. This year, they're also preparing for the birth of a new brother or sister, due after the New Year. Vicky is worried that the baby will come early―what kind of Christmas Eve would it be without Mother to help them hang up stockings and sing everyone to sleep with carols? This classic story of an old-fashioned Christmas is accompanied by merry illustrations by Jill Weber.
ride: but if only one thing is worth spending money on, it is The Nutcracker. I love Tchaikovsky’s music, but indeed I love all of New York’s Christmas music, from the Salvation Army carolers to the great choirs of the various churches. In one church or another a performance of Handel’s Messiah will be found, or Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, or seventeenth-century carols played on period instruments. This abundance is listed in various papers and magazines. Sometimes the people in the churches have
that he probed with frightening accuracy. Was it because people were a little afraid of him that they whispered about the Murrys’ youngest child, who was rumored to be not quite bright? “I’ve heard that clever people often have subnormal children,” Meg had once overheard. “The two boys seem to be nice, regular children, but that unattractive girl and the baby boy certainly aren’t all there.” It was true that Charles Wallace seldom spoke when anybody was around, so that many people thought he’d
December we went with Daddy into the woods to get the Christmas tree. Mother stayed home, because she was feeling tired and heavy, but the rest of us tramped through the woods, including the dogs and cats. It was Suzy who found the perfect tree this time, just the right size and shape for the living room, with beautiful firm branches all around. Daddy and John took turns sawing, and we all helped carry it home, because the tree was tall, and heavy. Daddy said, “Tomorrow’s Sunday, so we’ll trim
is all the Christmas Eve service we’re going to get.” John went into the living room and turned on the Christmas tree lights so that there was the beauty of the Christmas tree indoors and the Christmas tree outdoors, and Daddy sat by the fire and read us the Christmas story. I looked at the angel on top of the indoor Christmas tree and I felt peaceful and happy. When we had finished dinner and were nearly through with the dishes, Mother gave a funny little gasp and said to Daddy, “How are you
cellar for the night.” The snow beat against the windows. The wind rattled the shutters. In spite of her nap Suzy got sleepy and curled up on the living room sofa. I went to the stove. “I’d better make the cocoa to put on the mantelpiece with the cookies for Santa Claus.” “Make enough for us while you’re at it,” John said. We drank two, then three cups of cocoa. We tiptoed out to the storeroom where we’d hidden our presents for Mother and Daddy and put them under the tree. Time seemed to