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Mysterious mixing spoon goes to work

Editor’s note: This is the third 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.

Angelica clutched a small gift bag as she skipped down the hall to her mother’s room.

“Hi, sweetie,” Faith said. “How was the market? Did you find anything good?”

Angelica nodded, holding out the bag. “I did. I absolutely had to get it. When you open it, you’ll understand.”

Faith raised her eyebrows and grabbed the bag. “Very intriguing. Let’s see…” She reached inside and pulled out the mixing spoon. “Oh, a new spoon, how wonderful! It’s…”

Her voice trailed off as she traced a finger over the angel etched into the metal.

“This is beautiful, Angel, I absolutely love it.”

Angelica beamed. “We’ll be so busy, I just thought it was the perfect thing to help us. And the lady who sold it told me told this crazy story, like it’s supposed to be good luck or something.”

Faith smiled, tapping the spoon gently into her palm. “We have a lot of orders to fill tomorrow and goodness knows we can use all the luck we can get.”

The next morning, Angelica couldn’t stop smiling as she cut out the very first batch of sugar cookies mixed with the new spoon. She popped them in the oven, then sat at the counter next to her mother, who was slowly squeezing frosting along the edge of the gingerbread fence they were constructing.

The bakery door jingled and Faith wiped her hands on her apron.

“That’s Mr. Coleman,” she said, handing the frosting tube to Angelica before grabbing the stack of neatly wrapped cookie boxes from the counter. “I’ll take care of him.”

Angelica took over frosting the fence while her mom and Mr. Coleman chatted at the front counter.

“She’s been in and out of the hospital for weeks,” Mr. Coleman was saying about his daughter, Lucy. “And it turns out it can be treated, but she’ll need surgery. That and the follow-up treatments are just so expensive, I’m not sure how we’ll manage.”

“I’m so sorry, Ken,” Faith said sympathetically. “I’m sure you’ll find a way through it.”

Angelica shook her head slightly, recognizing the tone in her mother’s voice, but unable to object as Faith told Mr. Coleman there was no charge today. And while it warmed her heart to hear how grateful he was, it hurt knowing they were that much further away from saving their bakery.

“I know, I know,” Faith said, seeing Angelica’s face. “It was the right thing to do, though.”

Angelica sighed. “Maybe. It’s just too bad that the right thing doesn’t get the bills paid.”

Faith glanced at the clock. “Did you set the timer? I feel like those cookies have been baking a long time.”

“Uh-oh,” Angelica said, hurrying to the oven. “I forgot all about them!”

She pulled open the oven door and yanked on an oven mitt, ready to pull out what was surely a charred tray of ruined cookies, but she paused, staring into the oven.

She was absolutely positive she’d only put one tray of cookies into the oven. She was also absolutely positive that there was no logical explanation as to why there were now four sheets of perfectly baked cookies waiting to be taken out.

Read Part 4 of “Mixing Up Some Holiday Magic” in tomorrow’s Tribune Chronicle.

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