General Flash Fiction posted November 19, 2019


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The best presents given, come from the heart.

The Same Dress

by papa55mike


The air is frigid, walking home from high school today. When I pass the downtown consignment shop, I notice a beautiful blue dress in the window. It has ruffles on the sleeves, and lace around the neck. "Mama would look lovely in that dress at church."

A cold wind blows my hood off while I'm struggling to see the price through the frosty window. "Ten dollars, with the six dollars I have at home and three weeks until Christmas. I got this!"

I'm walking down Second Avenue wondering how many times I've watched mama sew her old white dress with little pink and blue flowers. "Too, many!" Now, with the hem fraying and the straps almost threadbare, she is in desperate need of a dress.

Mama will start patching that old dress, early on Saturday morning. So she can wear it when she drags me to church on Sunday. Mama always sits pretty in the pew. But when she walks, everybody can see where the patches are. Mama pretends not to hear the other women snicker at her when she walks by them. But lagging behind her, I see their cruelty.

~

It's late Christmas Eve, and I've been thinking about the past holidays. After all she's done for me, I can't remember giving mama a present before. Nothing I bought from a store. Only the little things I made at school or church when I was a kid. Mama puts them on our Christmas tree every year.

There's a noise in the hall. I peep out my door when mama walks by with her sewing box, the old white dress, and sits down in her chair to start that labor of love. We have a special service tomorrow evening, on Christmas night.

"Let me save her all of that work." I slide the box from under my bed. The lady at the store was so kind. She wrapped the box in shiny purple paper with a big purple bow - mama's favorite color.

I sneak down the hall then beside her chair with my heart full of love. Mama gasps when I place the package in her lap. "What's this, Joshua?"

"Merry Christmas! Open it, mama. You won't have to work on that old dress ever again."

She delicately removes the bow and slowly opens the paper, hoping not to tear it. When mama opens the box, she begins to cry. "Son, this is the best Christmas present I've ever received, thank you."

She rises with a brilliant smile then kisses my cheek.

~

The next night at church, we get there a little late. When I get out of the car, mama grabs my hand and whisks me into the church. The Pastor is ready to give the announcements when mama and I hurry down the aisle. I sit down in our usual spot, but mama remains standing. With all eyes on her, she takes her coat off to model her new blue dress. Mama straightens her hair, smiles at me, then glowingly sits down.

There's a smile on every face.

Pastor Morris speaks up with his booming voice. "Well, it looks like Sister Rose got a new dress for Christmas. Praise God!"

I'm so full of joy. I can't help but laugh.


Christmas Story contest entry

Recognized


The picture is Wanda's old white dress with little pink and blue flowers along with her sewing box.

Let us cherish all of our Christmas memories. Not only do they represent a wonderful holiday, but there are also examples of God sharing His love with us. Let's not ever forget how much the Lord loves us.

My family and I wish you much joy during this holiday season.

Many thanks for stopping by to read!
Have a great day and God bless.
mike
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