Selfless acts bring warm Christmas morning rewards

Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This is the final chapter of a 12-part fictional holiday tale that began Dec. 14 and ran daily through Christmas. Parents were encouraged to read it aloud to their children.

“We can’t,” Faith said, finding her voice. “This is so kind of you, unbelievably kind, but it’s so much …”

Mrs. Coleman stepped forward and took Faith’s hands. “Faith, I’ve known you for decades. I’ve seen firsthand how kind and generous you and your family are, and always have been. I don’t think I can name a good cause you didn’t donate to, or a person in this town who hasn’t been on the receiving end of your goodwill.”

She swallowed, her eyes glistening. “It’s thanks to you that my baby girl is going to be OK.”

“We know how hard it was after you lost Michael,” Mrs. Blake added. “And yet, you still managed to keep helping those around you, even while you yourself were struggling.”

“We know how much the bakery means to you,” Mrs. Coleman said. “And we want to help keep your dream alive. Everyone in town pitched in.”

Tears fell freely down Faith’s cheeks. “I don’t know how we can ever thank you.”

“You’ve done enough,” said Mrs. Blake. “You two have given us all hope through your generosity. It’s us who want to thank you.”

The spirit of Christmas was undeniably in the air, surrounding Angelica and her mom like a warm, cozy blanket, and they grinned at their friends.

“Merry Christmas!” the crowd cheered, and everyone began hugging the Sweets and saying their goodbyes to go and enjoy Christmas with their families.

“Emily,” Faith called. “Can you come inside with us for a moment before you go? We have something for you.”

Mrs. Blake followed them inside, and Angelica grabbed a small red gift box. She glanced at her mom with a smile, and Faith winked at her and nodded.

“We wanted you to have this,” Angelica said excitedly.

“Why, thank you! How nice of you,” Mrs. Blake said. She opened the box and lifted the lid. Smiling wide, she pulled out a bag of snowflake cookies. “Delicious. And oh, what’s this?”

She lifted a layer of tissue paper and there sat the spoon. Holding it up, Mrs. Blake examined it.

“It’s just lovely. A perfect mixing spoon and this angel is beautiful, but isn’t this yours?” she said to Faith.

“It was. Angel gave it to me. But now we think it’s time it found a new home. One that gives hope to countless people through the generosity of warmth, love and food. It’s special. You’ll see.”

“You have to believe,” Angelica added. “Believe in magic and have hope. OK?”

Mrs. Blake turned it around, examining it. “You know what?” She looked at them both. “I do believe. I love it so much, thank you. I have the perfect place for it in the kitchen at Feed Your Soul, and I’m going there right now to make a Christmas breakfast of blueberry pancakes and chocolate muffins. Thank you both.”

They said their goodbyes and Faith and Angelica walked hand in hand back to the Christmas tree to finish opening their presents.

“We did the right thing,” Faith said quietly. “With that spoon, she’ll be able to help so many people.”

“I think so, too,” said Angelica. “Thank you, Mom.”

“For what, Angel?”

“For all of this. For being my mom. For giving me the best Christmas in the world.”

Faith wrapped her arms around her. “The sweetest.”

“The sweetest,” Angelica echoed.

“Merry Christmas to all!” Santa shouted from the parade on their television.

And to all, a good night.

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