Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STEAM (12/03/15)
TITLE: We Wish You a Merry Christmas
By Loni Bowden-Horn
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It wouldn’t be much of a Merry Christmas for the Cravens this year.
"We won’t be getting any presents,” sniveled Sadie.
It’s been such a harsh winter for the soldiers in the army. Mama said we must be brave and not spend money on frivolities while papa and the other men have been suffering. Being a chaplain in the army, I am glad papa can offer comfort to others. Papa can tell them about Jesus.
“Sadie, I’m going to tell mama you’re using big words again. I’m tired of you being such a smarty pants,” quibbled Robert.
“What does fri-vol-ty mean anyways?” asked Robert
“Things like toys and candy” replied Sadie
“Besides, I think it’s high time you get an edjudication,” quipped Sadie, “Don’t be such a tattletale. You’re such a sissy Bobby.”
“Am not,” said Robert.
“Are too,” replied Sadie.
“Stop calling me Bobby! My name is Robert.
As Sadie heard the clock strike five, she said, “Come on Robert; help me get this kettle over to the fireplace, before mama gets home.”
“Mama said we’re going to make a birthday present for Jesus and bring it to church tomorrow for Christmas Service.”
Sadie and Robert lugged the large copper kettle across the room.
“It’s kind of funny we can cook and wash clothes in the same kettle,” giggled Sadie.
“What is mama going to teach us to cook? Our cupboards are bare,” asked Robert.
“Mama said she prayed to God to send His angels down to show us what to give Jesus. She said God would provide us with a Christmas miracle.”
Sadie recalled the words papa spoke from the pulpit, “Bring your talents of songs, poems, artwork or whatever you would like to give baby Jesus on Christmas Day. As the wise men did so long ago, lay down your best gifts before the king.”
Sadie thoughts were interrupted when she heard her mother come through the door. She practically leapt in her mama’s arms.
“Mama, look at the wicker basket of food the carolers left at our doorstep while you were away.”
It was chocked full of figs, dried cherries and cranberries, flour, sugar, cream, eggs, walnuts, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh milk. Two loaves of fresh bread wrapped up in towels.
“Robert, come quick,” exclaimed Sadie
Mama said she is going to teach us how to make Figgy Pudding.
Mama explained the steam was the most important ingredient. If you don’t steam the cake long enough it will be gooey. If you steam the cake too long it will be hard as rocks.
All night Robert and I worked beside mama stirring and mixing the batter for the Figgy Pudding. Mama put the pudding in the copper to steam for two hours. The cloth on top of the pudding had the same smell as wash day. The rich moist cake resembled a “speckled cannon ball”. Mama put a sprig of Christmas holly and three cherries on the cake, and a candle in the middle. She added a dollop of whipped cream on top.
The congregation gasped as we three Cravens entered the sanctuary with the cake all ablaze. Mama said we needed to show the others that Jesus was the light of our world. We humbly bowed down before the altar to present our gift to Jesus.
As we turned around to face the congregation, we saw a man coming down the aisle with a crutch under his arm. It was our papa who had returned home from the war.
Sadie changed her mind, “This was the best Christmas of them all.”
Note: Figgy Pudding is similar to fruit cake. All characters are fiction.
Resources: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Author of We Wish You a Merry Christmas is unknown
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