Under The Mistletoe
Rose made Phebe promise that she would bring her stocking into the Bower, as she called her pretty room, on Christmas morning, because that first delicious rummage loses half its charm if two little night- caps at least do not meet over the treasures, and two happy voices Oh and Ah together.
So when Rose opened her eyes that day they fell upon faithful Phebe, rolled up in a shawl, sitting on the rug before a blazing fire, with her untouched stocking laid beside her.
Merry Christmas! cried the little mistress smiling gaily.
Merry Christmas! answered the little maid, so heartily that it did one good to hear her.
Bring the stockings right away, Phebe, and lets see what weve got, said Rose, sitting up among the pillows, and looking as eager as a child.
A pair of long knobby hose were laid out upon the coverlet, and their contents examined with delight, though each knew every blessed thing that had been put into the others stocking.
Never mind what they were; it is evident that they were quite satisfactory, for as Rose leaned back, she said, with a luxurious sigh of satisfaction, Now, I believe Ive got everything in the world that I want, and Phebe answered, smiling over a lapful of treasures, This is the most splendid Christmas I ever had since I was born. Then she added with an important air
Do wish for something else, because I happen to know of two more presents outside the door this minute.
Oh, me, what richness! cried Rose, much excited. I used to wish for a pair of glass slippers like Cinderellas, but as I cant have them, I really dont know what to ask for.
Phebe clapped her hands as she skipped off the bed and ran to the door, saying merrily, One of them is for your feet, anyway. I dont know what youll say to the other, but I think its elegant.
So did Rose, when a shining pair of skates and a fine sled appeared.
Uncle sent those; I know he did; and, now I see them, I remember that I did want to skate and coast. Isnt it a beauty? See! they fit nicely, and, sitting on the new sled, Rose tried a skate on her little bare foot, while Phebe stood by admiring the pretty tableau.
Now we must hurry and get dressed, for there is a deal to do to-day, and I want to get through in time to try my sled before dinner.
Gracious me, and I ought to be dusting my parlors this blessed minute! and mistress and maid separated with such happy faces that anyone would have known what day it was without being told.
Birnam Wood has come to Dunsinane, Rosy, said Dr. Alec, as he left the breakfast table to open the door for a procession of holly, hemlock, and cedar boughs that came marching up the steps.
Snowballs and Merry Christmases! flew about pretty briskly for several minutes; then all fell to work trimming the old house, for the family always dined together there on that day.
I rode miles and mileses, as Ben says, to get this fine bit, and Im going to hang it there as the last touch to the rig-a-madooning, said Charlie, as he fastened a dull green branch to the chandelier in the front parlor.
It isnt very pretty, said Rose, who was trimming the chimney-piece with glossy holly sprays.
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