That was such a thrill. I couldn’t wait to ride it. The problem was getting it outside. Luckily, my dad came to the rescue. Everything went smoothly until he got to the training wheels. That took some wiggling, jiggling, and lifting. He eventually wrestled it out the door and down the steps to the driveway. Watching him maneuver the bike through the narrow doorway started the wheels inside my head churning. If it was so difficult to get the training wheels through the door, how did Santa get it down the chimney?
I asked my father. I think that was the first time he was at a loss for an answer. My older brother came to the rescue and explained how Santa had a bag of magic dust that made the chimney expand large enough to get all the presents into the house. After climbing back onto the roof, Santa sprinkled a little more dust into the chimney, returning it to its normal size.
I believed him.
My folks were terrific. I couldn’t ask for better parents. Through them, I learned that Christmas wasn’t just about Santa and receiving presents. It was family. Spending the holiday with my grandparents and uncle made it complete. Exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve opened my eyes to how nice it was to see other people opening presents and being happy.
My father had nine brothers and sisters. The week before Christmas, I’d go with him as he visited and wished them a Merry Christmas. I loved seeing the smiles and getting hugs. Even at that young age, being around happy people made me happy.
My parents also visited some older members of their church who didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. Seeing the eyes of these lonely, forgotten people light up when they opened the door to our cheerful Christmas greeting made me giggle.
I learned at a very young age that receiving presents was great, but giving was even better. It made both me AND the recipient happy. As I got older, the joy of giving, sharing, and caring stayed with me. Being kind and doing whatever I could to make someone else happy remained an important part of Christmas.
The last thing I wanted was to sound preachy. So, I snuck in these small lessons around the primary storyline: the mystery of the gift snatcher. Someone is sneaking into houses and stealing all the presents under the Christmas trees. The scoundrel even stole Patchy’s teddy bear with a missing ear.
Their woodland friends aren’t safe from the sneaky thief either. Stashes of nuts disappear, leaving the animals with no food for the winter. It’s up to the dynamic duo to solve the mystery. Patchy and Calico investigate and discover who the culprit is. The question is, can they convince the gift snatcher to return the presents?
Excerpt from Christmas With Patchy and Calico
Patchy answered, “No, we don’t have any more nuts for you today. We’re looking for the raccoon that took all our Christmas presents.”
The two young raccoons hugged each other, and one of them replied in a shaky voice, “Oh, you don’t want to find him. He’s big, mean, and very cranky. His name is Rocky, and he lives under the thorn bush in a great big hole all by himself.”
The other raccoon added, “Rocky doesn’t talk to anybody. He doesn’t share with the rest of us either. He took some of my chestnuts and wouldn’t give them back. He’s a bully.”
“WHO CALLED ME A BULLY?” a voice boomed out from behind the thorn bush. The two young raccoons ran away, leaving Patchy and Calico alone to face the gift snatcher.
Calico and Patchy were afraid of the big fat raccoon that stepped out from behind the thorn bush. They were so scared they couldn’t talk or move.
Rocky Raccoon was a lot bigger than they were, and he looked at them with two black, beady eyes. “WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME?”
Another voice from behind the two scared friends answered, “We want our Christmas presents back.”
Patchy and Calico recognized Marty’s deep voice. He’d come to help them.
“NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE THEM!” Rocky’s loud voice hurt the other animal’s ears.
You’ll have to read Christmas with Patchy and Calico to find out if they convinced Rocky to return the gifts.
I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday. Does anyone have a Christmas memory you’d like to share in the comments?
Available from Amazon.com
Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A9I4XB0
Universal link http://viewbook.at/pandcchristmas
Amazon Author Page - https://www.amazon.com/Greta-Burroughs/e/B003N3F5AQ