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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Angels We Have Heard
By Tim Pickl
10/20/08


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“Thank You Lord for such a perfect day to bake Christmas cookies,” Sarah prayed, staring out of a huge picture window. Large, puffy snowflakes floated down like clouds in front of Sarah’s century-old home. She sighed, then pointed her Wii-Phone at a High-Definition Television, and powered it on.

The classic film It’s a Wonderful Life filled the monstrous, 60-inch screen.

Then, a black sedan pulled up. “There she is,” Sarah whispered.

Sarah’s best friend Marcy got out of a sparkling Mercedes. Marcy gingerly tip-toed through the snow and simultaneously engaged the automobile’s security system.

With a squeeeek, Sarah opened the ancient, wooden door. “Hi Marcy, it’s sooo good to see you. Please come in!”

“Thanks—this is going to be the best Christmas cookie sale, ever.” Marcy spotted the huge, decorated Christmas tree by the picture window. “Oh, you really went all-out this year in your new abode. It’s beautiful!”

“Thank you. Let me show you what I’m working on.”

As they walked into the kitchen, Marcy gasped. “This smells amazing.” A dozen bowls were neatly lined up on the kitchen counter, one for each ingredient.

“I was too excited—I got up real early this morning, and made half the cookies already.”

“That’s okay… Weren’t you telling me that you make twelve different kinds?”

“Yes, one type of cookie for each of the 12 Days of Christmas.

“That’s a FANtastic idea!”

“These should be done now.” Sarah grabbed an oven mitt, bent down and pulled out the tray. “Wa-la! Five Golden Rings.”

“Oh, those do look good!”

“I made up the recipe myself.” Sarah proudly said, then demonstrated. “On a well-floured cutting board, you roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Then, you take a plain, round cookie-cutter and cut out a circle. Then you take a smaller, round cookie-cutter, and cut out the center of the circle, and remove the center. Do it again four more times to make five rings. Then, you place all five rings overlapping each other on the pan in a circle. When they’re finished baking, shake some gold-colored sprinkles on the rings. I usually put another cookie in the center, so they hold together better—like a Hershey’s chocolate kiss cookie.”

Sarah’s Wii-Phone interrupted with an Amazing Grace ringtone. “I have another batch ready to put in the oven—go ahead and put them in—I’ve got to answer this.” It was her husband Ron. “Hi honey. How are things going at the dress rehearsal?”

“It’s going great! I’m sending you a video feed now directly to our High-Definition Television. Check it out.”

Sarah heard it before she saw it. A city-wide choir--with hundreds of people from dozens of local churches--all dressed as angels, were singing:

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!


The camera panned the mass choir, then moved down and focused on a manger scene in front of the stage.

Ron excitedly said “It dovetails into the next song—The Hallelujah Chorus--watch!”

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah!


“Hold on.” Sarah covered the phone. “Marcy, come here and look at this!”

And He shall reign forever and ever--

“WOW! This will touch SO many people.”

Then, the doorbell rang--causing the scene on the television to pause--freezing on one angelic choir member with tears in her eyes, seemingly looking right at Sarah.

“I gotta run, honey—thank you.”

Sarah opened the door.

“Master Messenger Service with a delivery.” A burly man handed Sarah an envelope. “Please sign here.” As Sarah signed her name she heard a woman scream from a house across the street.

PLEASE DON’T LEAVE! Please.

A man yelled, “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE! I’m goin’ for a ride.” He slammed a truck door.

The Messenger softly said, “Sounds like they need help.”

Sarah glanced down at the envelope, and when she looked back up, the Messenger was gone. A woman sat the doorway of the house across the street with her face in her hands, apparently crying.

She needs help.

Still in slippers, Sarah ran through the snow to her, and asked, “Can I help you?”

“My husband lost his job, and now we’re outta food for the kids. He just went to drink the last-a our money.”

“Bring your kids over to my house.”

“Oh—but—“

“I insist.”

It was their best Christmas cookie feast, ever.


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This article has been read 788 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Anne Harrison10/23/08
What a beautiful story - not only of cookie baking, but the real meaning of Christmas giving! It will be "forever" before the woman whose husband lost his job and her children forget this very special Christmas gift.
Scott Sheets10/27/08
What a thoughtful tale. We often can get lost in our own celebration and forget the challenges of others. I did have a little difficulty picturing the characters in the beginning. At first I thought the to ladies were teenage girls. It might have just been me however. Thanks for sharing meaningful story.
Joshua Janoski10/28/08
The technology and the Mercedes caught my attention in this, but then I was woke up to reality by the people needing help. A good reminder to never forget those in need during the holidays (or any other time for that matter).
Beth LaBuff 10/28/08
I love the scene you set with this… "large, puffy snowflakes" the "Wii-Phone" and "High-Definition Television" with the classic black and white, "It's a Wonderful Life". Thanks for the reminder too. Nice work on this!
Marijo Phelps10/29/08
Great contrasts (could have worked for carols topic too) and good heart!
Betty Castleberry10/29/08
What's Christmas without a baking session with kids? Love the ending. I knew right away the women were privileged. Nicely done.
Celeste Ammirata10/29/08
I loved the Christmas Carols. A wonderful reminder of the message of Christ... To love one another and be there for your neighbor in need. Thank you for sharing this.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge10/29/08
This entry is very timely with the state of our economy. Thanks for the reminder.
Karlene Jacobsen 10/29/08
Sounds like a "divine" interruption to me. Well written.
Pamela Kliewer10/29/08
What a wonderful, well written story. Thanks for the smile and for showing us the true meaning of Christmas.
Kristen Hester10/29/08
Your story had many interesting elements and it kept my attention. Good job! I loved the desription other 5 golden rings cookies. Yum.
LauraLee Shaw10/29/08
Delightful story with all the sweet stuff. Good job on topic with a creative flare. ;)
Leah Nichols 10/30/08
Great reminder of the things that really matter. Excellent work!