Friday, 3 December 2010
Holly stared wistfully at the dress. It was beautiful. Not too fussy, not too frilly: just perfect.
The little sprigs of holly against the crimson cotton background made it look so pretty.
In a reverie, Holly imagined herself entering the church hall next Saturday for the annual Sunday School Christmas party, wearing the dress...
'Holly, we're ready to go.' Her mother's voice stopped her daydream abruptly. Holly and her mother had come into town on a few errands and her mother had only gone into the dress store for some buttons.
'Are you ready to go?' inquired her mother, 'You look as if you've forgotten something!'
'Oh mother, I was just wondering...' Holly's voice trailed off.
She couldn't bring herself to ask for a new dress. She knew times were hard for their family. Her father worked long hours on the construction site and his wages barely kept food on the table let alone clothe Holly and her brothers in finery. 'Make do and mend,' was one of her mother's cheerful sayings and Holly heard it a lot for her mother had few luxuries but still managed to look neat and tidy and glowing with contentment.
As her mother put her hand on the door knob, Holly couldn't resist a backward glance over her shoulder for a last, longing look at the dress.
They stepped out into the cold December air and wrapped their thin cloaks more tightly about themselves and hurried homeward as quickly as they could. At least there was a warm fire burning when they entered the house, casting a rosy glow across the room, which was furnished sparsely enough, but it was home, a place of love and happiness and belonging.
Holly's mother began heating up the pot of stew and Holly began setting the table.
'Only a few days until your birthday, Holly,' said her mother, 'I'll bake a special cake and put nine little candles on it and we can all eat it after supper. Won't that be a treat!'
Holly nodded and smiled. She knew her mother would try to give her some little surprises on her birthday, but oh, wouldn't it be wonderful if.... No, she must push all thought of the dress aside, no matter how much she wanted it.
When Holly came home from school a few days later, her mother met her with a broad smile.
'While you were at school, I went and picked some holly boughs from the wood and got some extra candles to make the place all lovely for your birthday and for Christmas! You know it has to be holly , for our special daughter Holly born nine years ago today! Happy birthday, Holly!'
The house smelled lovely and Holly knew they would all enjoy her mother's cake tonight.
But what was this? On the table beside her mother was a brown parcel tied up with red ribbon.
Her mother was smiling that broad grin again and her eyes danced with happy anticipation.
'OHHH!' gasped Holly. 'How did you know? Oh mother, it's the dress I wanted so much!'
She gazed at her mother in happy bewilderment.
'Well, I saw you turn to look up at when we were leaving Jonson's store last week. I recognised that longing gaze in your eyes, so I've been busy baking and selling my cakes and cookies and with a few pence I'd saved for your birthday and Christmas, I got you the dress. I thought you might like to wear it on Saturday to the Sunday School party.'
Holly could only hug her mother tightly as the tears almost choked her. Her own mother was the best gift she could have. Her own mother knew her so well, read her thoughts even. Her own mother did all she could to make their days as bright and loving as she could!
It was her mother's turn to well up with tears as Holly stepped out of her room on Saturday afternoon, wearing her new dress for the party.
'Oh Holly it's so perfect for you!' she cried, 'The little sprigs of holly and the rich red color suit you so well! Come and I'll tie this red ribbon in your hair.'
'Mother, you are the best mother in the whole, wide world!' exclaimed Holly, embracing her mother again.
'We couldn't have found you a better dress in all the world!' laughed her mother and kissed her,
'A dress with holly for my own precious Holly!'
I gave myself the whole day off today from housework that is lol! and this is what I was doing instead and enjoying every minute of it while it snowed outside!
I got this lovely Christmas fabric from The Homespun Loft and couldn't wait to make up these dresses, so it got me thinking about a very special dress I got one year a long time ago...!
Hope you are all warm and cozy and enjoying the festive pics of all the lovely Christmas decorating - I know I am!
Have a wonderful weekend!