Josiah Carr stuck the tip of his tongue in the gaping hole where his two front teeth had been. He plopped down on the plush carpet and opened the red, plastic tub. He squealed as he began pulling out pieces from his favorite Nativity set. As he studied the jewels on the crown of one of the wise men, he lisped. “I justh love Cwristmas. It’s my mosth favorite time of the year.”
Linda Carr grinned at her young son and then took a careful sip of her steaming cappuccino. She turned and stared out the bay window of their luxurious home. Suddenly, she gave a quick snort and hollered to her husband. “Bruce, you are not going to believe what those Quinbys are doing. They are out in these frigid temperatures hanging more Christmas lights.”
Bruce’s dark brows lifted in surprise. He listened as his wife continued her rant. “That Juanita Quinby is just trying to outdo us with all of her fancy lights. We’ve got to put up more Christmas decorations.”
“Honey, we already have Santa, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen on our roof!” Bruce sputtered, staring at his wife as if she had gone crazy. “And let’s not forget Rudolph with his shiny, red nose in our front yard and Frosty the Snowman standing eight feet tall in our backyard!”
Linda tapped her long, red fingernails on her chin. Her eyes widened and she exclaimed, “I know how we can beat those Quinbys at their own game. Bruce, you’ve got to hurry down to Sam’s Club this very minute and buy that gigantic, inflatable Santa Claus we saw last week.”
“And just where will we put our “new and improved” Santa Claus?” Bruce forced himself to ask.
Waving her finger in the air, Linda stammered. “That’s simple. We will put him on the…. the… the… driveway!”
“The driveway!” Bruce roared. “Where will we park our cars?”
“Honey, it’s only for a few weeks.” Linda insisted. “We can’t let those Quinbys outshine us. Hurry up now and go buy the Santa. Please!”
Bruce glanced down at his watch. “Linda, you know we are supposed to go caroling at the nursing home tonight.”
Linda plucked her cell phone from her purse. After quickly punching several digits, she replied. “I am calling Pastor Anderson right now and telling him we are unable to go caroling due to a family emergency.”
Josiah’s mouth dropped. Gesturing towards the wooden manger scene sitting beneath the tree he gasped. “Mommy, we are in big trouble. Baby Jesuth is mithing.”
Linda threw her hands up in the air and scolded. “Not now, Josiah. Can’t you see that I am in the middle of making a very important phone call?”
Josiah hung his head. “But, Mommy, Baby Jesuth is mithing! We can’t have Cwistmas without Baby Jesuth!”
Josiah began rummaging through the crumpled pages of newspaper in the bottom of the plastic tub. His chocolate eyes danced when he spotted his beloved Baby Jesus. Cradling the familiar figurine in his arms, Josiah began to hum as he rocked back and forth. He paused and caressed the Baby’s face. Then he softly recited his part for the annual Christmas program.
“Let uth give a little Jesuth to a hurting heart today.
Let uth give a little Jesuth and help them find their way.”
A single tear trickled down Linda’s cheek. Her cell phone pressed tightly against her ear. “Pastor Anderson, I just wanted to let you know that you can count on the Carr family for caroling tonight.”
Bruce knelt by his young son and wrapped his strong arms around him. “Thank you, Joe, for helping Mommy and Daddy find Baby Jesus.”
Josiah chuckled. “Cwistmas wouldn’t be Cwistmas without the Baby Jesuth!”
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