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By Janie Reinart
Lift a mug of hot chocolate for the merry, not naughty but nice, Susanna Leonard Hill.
It's time for the 7th Annual Holiday Contest.
1.Write a 250 word holiday story about A Holiday Surprise, appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under). The title is not included in the 250 words. You can go under, but not over the word count!
2. No illustration notes please! You may submit more than one entry.
3.Your entry should be posted on your blog between 12:01 AM EST Thursday December 7 and Sunday December 10 at 11:59 PM EST, and your post-specific link should be added to the link list on the official holiday contest post which will go up on Susanna's blog on Thursday December 7 and remain up through Friday December 15, 2017.
Thank you, Susanna for always inviting us to to be merry and for the gifts for the winners! Here is my 249 word story for the contest. Thank you for stopping by. Many blessings for a Happy Holiday.
By Janie Reinart
I am Channah, the innkeeper’s daughter. Balancing a jar on my head, I hasten to bring water to our many guests.
My feet kick up puffs of dirt. I place clay lamps in every niche around the outer wall. Don’t tell. I’m afraid of the dark.
Someone is knocking.
My father says,"Shalom.”
My eyes meet those of the lady on the donkey.
“ My wife is about to give birth. Do you have room? ”
I whisper in father’s ear, “What about out back?”
He sighs, “We have a place with the animals.”
The lady smiles. The goodness in her eyes shines like a lantern. I gather fig cakes into a leather scrip.
Father surprises me. “Channah will take you.“
My heart skips a beat. Eventide makes me shiver.
Slinging the strap of the scrip over my shoulder, I grab a lamp.
At the limestone cave, the animals snort. I place the food for the lady near the lamp.
“I will bring water.”
My knees shake. The night is as dark as a bottomless well. Wait... A light, luminous as the sun, brightens my way. A new star! Could this be the night foretold? Joy burns in me like embers in a fire. I’m not afraid.
I return and hear the soft cries of the lady’s babe wrapped in swaddling.
“Would you like to hold Him?”
In the peacefulness of the starry night, I cradle the Child. My heart fills with wonder and I feel the nearness of God.