Mrs Mary Lomax had a house with a tree growing through it.
Which meant at Christmas she had plenty of opportunity to hang her decorations and create some fascinating light shows.
It wasn’t everyone who could do what she did and that suited her very much as Mary Lomax was not like other people. She lived alone, kept to herself and refused all council directives to remove the trees branches from within her house.
Rather every year or so she renovated her house to accommodate the growing tree.
She anticipated her children would be arriving on Christmas day and there would be the usual round of requests from them to do something about the house. In particular the tree. He eldest daughter complained that in the most recent renovation her mother had moved the wall in her bedroom such that when she went to bed at night her body was almost curled around the branch and rolling over in bed was proving to be an effort she didn’t think she should have to be making.
It was the same old each year but this year she was surprising them with gifts so thoughtful and generous they would be left speechless.
In recent times she had discovered a charity with asked for donations of a specific amount as that amount would buy poor villages in Africa some of life’s necessities.
So this year, Claire the eldest was attaching her name to a goat, Loren the next daughter was giving two chickens and her son’s donation would buy the village a hammer, spade and chisel.
Mrs Lomax was aware that her children like herself really wanted for little and so this year they would be doing something for others.
So as they sat around the table, ducking their heads to avoid the branch growing over the dining table, they looked aghast at their mother’s gifts. Each child received a card with their donation listed on it.
“What?” they uttered as one.
“Where’s the chocolate?”