General Fiction posted December 22, 2021

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A 350 true story about family and Christmas

Dad Saves the Day

by AliMom

It was one of those years of peanut butter and jelly and cold cereal meals. We were both working starter jobs, with the worst hours, worst tasks, and worst pay - just enough to make ends meet. We weren't starving. We had a roof over our heads and periodically enough heat from the landlord to keep the mice from freezing.

Christmas loomed large and daunting. We wanted to make it special for our children who'd been very patient with our, "no, we can't afford it" answers all year. So, we pinched and saved hiding inexpensive presents to go under the tree. But we ran out of money for a tree.

"Daddy said he'd bring the tree when he comes home from work," I explained. I prayed he would. The children began making ornaments from colorful paper and stringing popcorn which our son kept eating off the back end as fast as my daughter could string through the front. We sang along with carols, drank hot cocoa, and waited excitedly for Dad's arrival.

He entered, exhausted, covered with snow, arms empty.

"Not even a little one?" I said.

"Not for twenty dollars."

Upstairs our children sang out, "Daddy, daddy, did you bring the tree? We made decorations".

My poor husband went back out the door. "I'll get a tree somehow," he said.

After walking a mile, he spotted a vendor with a few trees left. It was late.

"How much?"

"Forty," the vendor replied.

"Thanks, no."

"What you got?" asked the vendor.


"No senor!"

From the back, a woman's voice, presumably his wife, shouted at the vendor in a foreign language.

"Okay!" he said grudgingly.

As he wrapped the tree, my husband told them the story of our children waiting patiently at home to decorate the tree, handing over two well-worn tens.

The vendor's wife slapped her husband on the back of the head hard saying something to him in words my husband did not understand.

The vendor pushed the bills back at my husband along with the tree.

"Here," he said.

My husband joyfully half-dragged, half-carried our tree home.

~ True Family Christmas Story ~ writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt

TRUE Story told BY YOU that happened IN YOUR FAMILY.

No vulgar words, sexual terms, murder, or profanity allowed--no warnings
No Stories about the birth of a baby on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
Minimum of 300 and maximum of 350 words
No writing on the ONE picture that's allowed /No animation with picture or music
One color of font only

Some of us remember well lean Christmases where we had to make do with whatever we could pull together. Children only remember how much fun it was and that we loved them.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by avmurray at

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