It was the evening before Christmas, and the family gathered in their lounge room looking gloomily at each the other.
They had this annual meeting to plan their Christmas Day. As were a proud family and since they were as poor as church mice they didn’t want anyone outside the family knowing of their hardship.
The parents had explained on more than one occasion the dire circumstances they lived in. The father earned enough money to keep the roof over their heads and provide food for the table, but beyond that, there was little if anything to spend on luxury and Christmas was a luxury as far as the parents were concerned.
But each year the mother would suggest that on Christmas Day the family might enjoy a meal they would not otherwise be able to afford. The gathering was to discuss the meal and how each person could contribute.
This year the mother had saved enough to buy a piece of meat that she would roast and serve with potatoes and string beans.
Each child was instructed to spend the morning making decorations to be placed around the dining room, that way anyone looking in could see they were in the Christmas spirit.
The older children helped the mother with the cooking and the table. The father spent his morning cleaning the kitchen and the dining room in preparation.
When all was ready, they gathered around the table, each standing at their appointed spot and the father said grace.
The children, who like all children, were always hungry, eyed the dinner in front of them. Knowing this was their one-day of the year they savoured every morsel.
As they completed the meal, the father thanked his wife for the delicious Christmas dinner and announced the children could spend the time left before their bedtime to read or occupy themselves.
A loud knock was heard at the front door.
They all looked startled as no one came to visit them on Christmas Day.
At the door stood two rough looking men dressed in shorts, singlet tops and thongs. They asked if this was the home of the O’Farrels. The children all nodded yes, and the two men entered.
When the father came out, he was nervous and intimidated by the men’s appearance. He pushed his children behind him and asked what the men wanted.
They announced they were Christmas Fairies and that his family had been selected as their family to visit.
The father was sceptical after all who ever saw fairies dressed like these men were, and the father thought they were far too big to be fairies.
He was convinced it was a prank of some sort and soon they would be asking for money, which would be a lost cause, as they had none.
The two men cast an eye over the dinner table and observed it still held the remains of the dinner.
“I see you have eaten,” said one.
“Yes,” replied the father, “we have leftovers if you would like to have them.”
“Thank you,” said the other fairy, “we are doing ok today.”
With that, they left leaving the family wondering what had just happened. A cry was heard from the lounge room, and they rushed in to see the problem.
In the corner of the room was a Christmas tree and under it were a pile of gifts each with a tag addressed to each child and parent.
As each gift was unwrapped, there were gasps of awe at what they discovered.
A scream from the kitchen once again found them all running out to see what had happened and found the mother standing at the refrigerator. She opened the door to find it stacked full of Christmas foods and treats.
On the door was a note: “Believing in Christmas makes possible the magic.”