Christmas at Hearth, Story Part 3… JOY

It’s that time of year                        when the world falls in love.               Ev’ry song you hear seems to say “Merry Christmas,..                        May your New Year dreams come true…”                                              And this song of mine,                         in three-quarter time,                          Wishes you and yours… the same thing…, too…

~ The Christmas Waltz



Snow feathers the air, Battenburg-lacy all day.

From my CD player, a guitar softly strumming alone… a sweet, untrained voice …a simple piano coming in on the instrumental — all three take my hands and place them in His… whisper a tender thought  within…unwrapping an angel-winged gift:

Waltz with Me?”  He invites…

And as my spirit does,  I imagine Julia McCann gently twirling in tune…her Christmas story continuing and playing in mind…


Time again to grab your cuppa –

 Join me in unwrapping this next installment? 


 …Part Three…

ulia bustled from kitchen drawer to hall chest and                back again, searching for that ball of clear jewelry wire she knew she had somewhereHere!  Now for the ornament clips – where?  Oh, yes

“Laddie, Laddie,” she laughed as he followed much too closely on her heels, nearly tripping her up, “go on, move boy…No, I haven’t gone crazy…”

Now – for that gift jar…  There it was, where she’d left it on the living room sill.  In the window light it really did look just like a snow globe winking silver and blue here, red and green there…  Casting the first feeling of Christmas, to drape like a glitter-thread shawl, lightly round her shoulders.

Such a clever way someone had cut out those small circles of paper in snowflake design.  They actually seemed to be floating in and around the marbles… She almost hated to disturb them.  Preferred to savor the jar like a beautifully wrapped present for awhile.  She had done just that after discovering this unexpected treat at her door last night. But that didn’t seem to be the intent.

For you, Miss McCann,” the handwritten tag read.  “Take one each day for Christmas cheer.”

And so, half-reluctantly she had pulled her first snowflake message from the jar last evening.  A child’s handwriting.  Hmm.

“If not for you, I wouldn’t know a wonderful snowflake secret…” (Here there was a spot of silver  glitter, with “scratch and sniff” written below it, and a :))  “It’s coming!        Thank you, dear friend!”

The snowflake secret.  A smile tugged her lips. Funny, she had just thought of that before finding the jar…the scent of snow had been wafting over her all through her walk!  A memory tickled across her now, like those flakes on her nose and eyelashes… A tearful little boy of long ago, one of her students shuffling in from recess, alone and woebegone.  How she’d comforted him over a childish mishap, placed the secret into his hands like a story ornament to take out and remember.

But… it couldn’t be Johnny.  He wasn’t that little boy anymore.  Someone had told her he’d been deployed recently…  

She slipped her fingers again into the jar now… chose another to read.

“Tonight when you wish upon a star, I’ll be praying for you.”

Like a hand moving from her head to her shoulder, the words filled the room with a feel of…companionship.  Starred her eyes momentarily.  Laddie leaned into her and sighed audibly.

Looking up, Julia watched fat fluffs of snow beginning to fall gently outside every window.  I’m inside a snow globe… she thought. 

scan0012Brushing her eyes, she reached for the jewelry wire, cut a lengthy bit to string from one end of the window to the other. She took out two ornament hooks, looped them carefully through the two paper snowflake cutouts to hang from the string.  Tomorrow and each day she would do the same.  Until the jar held only the color and shimmer of colored-glass bauble.  And each message would hang across her window… a string of prayer pearls and Christmas joy…

Wanting music, she popped in a new CD…  The sweet, clear voice accompanied only by guitar made one festive and dream-like tune melt joy over her softly, reminiscently…

Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree…

She’d always loved this song, especially with its usual full sound of orchestra. It stirred an inexplicable feeling inside her.  Tonight though, in this velvety two-instrument, almost music box-intimate rendition, she found a remembered image waiting… Meg Ryan in You’ve got Mail, cherishing a memory of her young mother twirling her as a little girl, in slow motion dance, just the two of them…

That’s when Julia noticed.  The snowflakes outside – like a scene set to this movie memory, they were falling in circles, tiny ballroom dancers swishing full skirts in three-quarter time.  Something wondrous about it moved her.

Into her thoughts came an elegantly dressed warrior… no, more like an emperor King…  Taking her hand, whispering a new revelation of His heart…  I have written music and dance into my creation… Won’t you waltz with Me?

“Father.” She seemed to feel His name, more than say it, silently

 Like the woman and child in the film, Julia lifted her arms then, swaying to the song…and as the piano and guitar took up their instrumental interlude, she moved in slow-waltz time, a young girl again …there in front of her picture window.  One…two…three…   One…two…three

Home by home, lights were coming on across the way, bright white stars twinkling in and through the sifting snow… The tune drifted off, and Julia’s eyes caught the wink of the jar again.  Like she had done with Johnny years ago, this unexpected gift — well, she felt as if someone had placed Christmas back in her hands…and left her a story jar, to remember.

She picked it up, cradled it roundly in her hands.  Ran her fingers over the anonymous handwriting on the tag.

“Who are you, sweet one?”  she whispered and pondered…


©  Pam Depoyan

Listen to the song Julia played, here:

Watch it all the way through to see when this You Tube Christmas card version unfolds through a window to a classic waltzing scene … LOVE it.  Just found this today after posting…


Digital Camera

Your God is present among you,
    a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
    and delight you with his songs.

Zephaniah 3:17, the Message


                This Christmas He is still calling.  “Waltz with Me?”  He invites…                     palm up, to you too…  :)


Miss any of this story?

Find the two previous links here:

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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5 Responses to Christmas at Hearth, Story Part 3… JOY

  1. melcaldicott says:

    This is beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  2. Pingback: See! He strikes the flame holy, within… | Writing… Apples of Gold

  3. Pam, this was lovely (and that verse from Zephaniah 3 is one of my favorites!) Thanks for linking up with Thought-Provoking Thursday. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. 🙂

    • Thank you, Lyli. I have one more part to write… haven’t been sure too many people are following this little fiction piece, so your words are lovely. I love that verse too – the thought of God singing songs of joy over us is such love, isn’t it? Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!

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