Recipe of sacrifice stirs batch of hope to help others

Editor’s note: This is the 10th chapter of a 12-part continuing, fictional holiday tale that is running daily through Christmas. Parents are encouraged to read it aloud to their children.

The next morning, Angelica and Faith quietly sat at the kitchen table in their pajamas, holding mugs of coffee and cocoa.

The prize check for $10,000 lay in the center of the table, staring back at them.

“You’re going to have to say something eventually, Angel,” Faith said softly.

Angelica squeezed her eyes shut and gripped her mug. She’d been trying to process everything that her mother had said to her this morning.

“Are you sure?” Angelica asked finally looking at her mom with tears in her eyes.

“Oh, Angel. I am. I haven’t slept a wink. I stayed up all night thinking about this.”

“But… all of it? What about the bakery?

“All of it. Just think about what a difference this will make. Think about how it will change their lives. And we’ll be OK, baby. It will be an adjustment, but we’re going to be just fine. I promise. There are plenty of jobs open in town.”

Angelica understood why her mom was making this decision, and it warmed her heart thinking about her mom’s sacrifices and how they impacted those in need. But the thought of giving up the money was hard.

“Think about it, Angel. That spoon, we know it was sent to us to help us. We don’t know how or from where, but doesn’t it feel like it was sent for something so much bigger than the bakery?”

Angelica knew she was right. She could feel it, and even she herself had been wondering how else they could help. This must be it.

Angelica smiled and took her mom’s hand. “Let’s do it.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah!”

Faith clapped her hands together and smiled wide. “Let’s go!”

Once they were standing on the Colemans’ front porch, they both were shaking from a combination of the cold air and nervousness from what they were doing.

The Colemans stood side by side on their threshold, hugging themselves with their robes wrapped tightly around them.

“I don’t understand,” Mr. Coleman said, holding the check in his hand.

“We want you to have it,” Faith said softly. “All of it.”

Mrs. Coleman placed a hand over her mouth. “But why?”

“So Lucy can have her surgery,” Angelica said.

Mrs. Coleman’s eyes filled with tears and she smiled down at Angelica and then to Faith.

“This is so selfless. So wonderful. But we can’t accept it. We know how hard you’ve both been working, and I couldn’t stand knowing we’re the reason you have to close the bakery.”

“I agree,” Mr. Coleman added. “And now you have a way to save it. It’s a Christmas miracle. We couldn’t take that from you and your family.”

“But that’s the thing — it’s not supposed to be our miracle,” Angelica interjected. “It’s supposed to be Lucy’s. Please, let us help her get her miracle.”

“Please,” Faith said, placing her arm around Angelica. “We’re sure. This is what we want.”

Mrs. Coleman let out a sob and threw her arms around Faith, then Angelica. “Thank you so, so much,” she whispered. “Thank you.”

They may only have the bakery for a couple weeks longer. But the things that really mattered were the friends they’d helped throughout the season. And nobody was ever going to be able to take that away from them.

Everything was going to be OK.

Read Part 11 of “Mixing Up Some Holiday Magic” in tomorrow’s Tribune Chronicle.

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