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Little Girl's Christmas. By Winnifred E. Lincoln

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It was Christmas Eve, and Little Girl had just hung up her stocking by the fireplace--right where it would be all ready for Santa when he slipped down the chimney. She knew he was coming, because--well, because it was Christmas Eve, and because he always had come to leave gifts for her on all the other Christmas Eves that she could remember, and because she had seen his pictures everywhere down town that afternoon when she was out with Mother. Still, she wasn't JUST satisfied. 'Way down in her heart she was a little uncertain--you see, when you have never really and truly seen a person with your very own eyes, it's hard to feel as if you exactly believed in him--even though that person always has left beautiful gifts for you every time he has come. "Oh, he'll come," said Little Girl; "I just know he will be here before morning, but somehow I wish--" "Well, what do you wish?" said a Tiny Voice close by her--so close that Little Girl fairly jumped when she heard it. "Why, I wish I could SEE Santa myself. I'd just like to go and see his house and his workshop, and ride in his sleigh, and know Mrs. Santa--'twould be such fun, and then I'd KNOW for sure." "Why don't you go, then?" said Tiny Voice. "It's easy enough. Just try on these Shoes, and take this Light in your hand, and you'll find your way all right."



So Little Girl looked down on the hearth, and there were two cunning little Shoes side by side, and a little Spark of a Light close to them--just as if they were all made out of one of the glowing coals of the wood-fire. Such cunning Shoes as they were--Little Girl could hardly wait to pull off her slippers and try them on. They looked as if they were too small, but they weren't--they fitted exactly right, and just as Little Girl had put them both on and had taken the Light in her hand, along came a little Breath of Wind, and away she went up the chimney, along with ever so many other little Sparks, past the Soot Fairies, and out into the Open Air, where Jack Frost and the Star Beams were all busy at work making the world look pretty for Christmas. Away went Little Girl--Two Shoes, Bright Light, and all--higher and higher, until she looked like a wee bit of a star up in the sky. It was the funniest thing, but she seemed to know the way perfectly, and didn't have to stop to make inquiries anywhere. You see it was a straight road all the way, and when one doesn't have to think about turning to the right or the left, it makes things very much easier. Pretty soon Little Girl noticed that there was a bright light all around her--



oh, a very bright light--and right away something down in her heart began to make her feel very happy indeed. She didn't know that the Christmas spirits and little Christmas fairies were all around her and even right inside her, because she couldn't see a single one of them, even though her eyes were very bright and could usually see a great deal. But that was just it, and Little Girl felt as if she wanted to laugh and sing and be glad. It made her remember the Sick Boy who lived next door, and she said to herself that she would carry him one of her prettiest picture-books in the morning, so that he could have something to make him happy all day. By and by, when the bright light all around her had grown very, very much brighter, Little Girl saw a path right in front of her, all straight and trim, leading up a hill to a big, big house with ever and ever so many windows in it. When she had gone just a bit nearer, she saw candles in every window, red and green and yellow ones, and every one burning brightly, so Little Girl knew right away that these were Christmas candles to light her on her journey, and make the way dear for her, and something told her that this was Santa's house, and that pretty soon she would perhaps see Santa himself.



Just as she neared the steps and before she could possibly have had time to ring the bell, the door opened--opened of itself as wide as could be--and there stood--not Santa himself--don't think it--but a funny Little Man with slender little legs and a roly-poly stomach which shook every now and then when he laughed. You would have known right away, just as Little Girl knew, that he was a very happy little man, and you would have guessed right away, too, that the reason he was so roly-poly was because he laughed and chuckled and smiled all the time--for it's only sour, cross folks who are thin and skimpy. Quick as a wink, he pulled off his little peaked red cap, smiled the broadest kind of a smile, and said, "Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Come in! Come in!" So in went Little Girl, holding fast to Little Man's hand, and when she was really inside there was the jolliest, reddest fire all glowing and snapping, and there were Little Man and all his brothers and sisters, who said their names were "Merry Christmas," and "Good Cheer," and ever so many other jolly-sounding things, and there were such a lot of them that Little Girl just knew she never could count them, no matter how long she tried.

       



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