I am delighted to welcome author and friend Tina Frisco to the Christmas party, with an ethereal short story about Jewel a little girl with special powers.
Jewel and the Christmas Tree by Tina Frisco
“Get away from that tree, you little gamine! I didn’t decorate it only to have you come along and ruin everything!”
His voice was harsh and threatening. Jewel ran all the way home as fast as her little seven-year-old feet could carry her. Mumzy was there ready to comfort, but they had no heat and the walls were stone. They also had very little else worth mentioning. But mumzy always made her feel safe and well-provided for.
The townspeople called Jewel’s mother Ruby, because when the sun caught her flaxen hair, it shone blood-red. They didn’t like her. She never hesitated to speak her mind. So whenever anything went missing from their yards or chicken coops, they blamed her. They thought she was dangerous because the thefts always took place at night.
To Jewel, Ruby was simply mumzy, the protector who loved her unconditionally. Mumzy always let Jewel light the fire in the cauldron that kept them warm at night. They would curl up together in a tiny nook in order to share their body heat.
Jewel dreamed of sparkling Christmas trees surrounded by ornately wrapped gifts, all bearing her name. A feast-laden table sat in the center of a huge dining hall, awaiting the smartly dressed guests. Cakes and pies baked in the ovens, filling every corner of the mansion with delectable aromas. The fortunate family was large, and all gathered together every year on December 25th.
Every morning, Mumzy woke Jewel in time for school. They had no refrigerator or cupboards to speak of, yet there was always cereal and milk for her breakfast. The kids made fun of her because she had only two dresses, one pair of badly scuffed shoes, and a threadbare coat that frayed around the cuffs and hem. She tried to ignore them, but it was especially difficult at holiday time. They also were afraid of her, because whenever she touched them, their hair would stand on end as if electrified. They called her the human generator.
Mumzy sent her off to school with a little brownbag lunch. Her teacher was stern, but Jewel had always liked her; until today. Today during spelling, teacher picked on her to spell every word beginning with “S.” The kids laughed and laughed. The harder they laughed, the more Jewel tried to make the “S” sound. But she could not. She looked to teacher for help, but the once rigid face now wore a smirk. Jewel was devastated. She flew out of the building and into the cold winter air.
Her eyes flooded with tears that froze and stuck to her cheeks. Her breath hovered in swirls of crystalline smoke. Her heart beat like a fist trying to get out of her chest. When she finally stopped running, she didn’t know where she was. There were very few houses and all of them sat on the hillside. She shivered in the cold under her thin cotton dress. Sitting on a flat stone, she rubbed her bare arms and legs in an effort to get warm. But the temperature plunged faster than her arms could move. The sun dropped below the hills, and the last bit of warmth disappeared. She lay down on the large stone and drifted into a frigid sleep.
Something tapped her on the shoulder. She tried to open her eyes, but they were frozen shut. Then a warm glow penetrated her entire body and she sat up. She brushed the snow from her arms and legs. The hillside glistened, winking like a gigantic bed of twinkling diamonds under the full moon. She felt an arm slide around her waist and instantly warm her.
“It is time, Jewel. Come.”
“Who are you?”
“My name is Sapphire, and I have come to take you home. But we have a stop to make first.”
“Where are we going?”
“We are going to the Christmas tree.”
The beautiful woman was dressed like the good witch in Peter Pan, but her skin was dark, and her hair was long and black and silken.
Jewel thought they were walking until she looked down. The hillside was a few yards beneath them. When they reached the crest of the hill, Jewel saw all the townspeople gathered around the magnificent Christmas tree on the other side.
“They do not know it, but they are waiting for you.”
“For me? But why?”
“You must light the tree.”
“I thought the lights just plugged in.”
“They do, but there is an electrical outage in this part of town. You will have to light the tree the same way you light the fire at home every night.”
As they glided down to the tree, Jewel noticed her dress was now a beautiful lilac color and her shoes were silver patent leather. Sapphire held her up to the angel on top of the tree and told her to touch it. The angel threw a light so bight that the whole town was bathed in ivory white. All the other tree lights shimmered in colors of red, green, blue, and yellow.
No one moved. No one spoke. No one saw Sapphire and Jewel. The rest of the town was still in darkness, but the Christmas tree shone brighter than it ever had before.
“It is time for us to leave.”
“But my home is over that way.”
“You have a new home now. It is the home that was in your dreams.”
Jewel was so happy. She threw her arms around Sapphire and kissed her on the cheek.
Then she remembered Ruby and felt very sad.
“I can’t leave mumzy. She needs me.”
“Ruby and I are old friends. I will watch over her as I have always watched over you. She
knows this. And she knows you are leaving.”
Sapphire pointed to the hilltop. The silhouette of a magnificent wolf stood outlined against the brilliance of the full moon. She threw back her head and howled to let Jewel know that she loved her and would see her again soon. Then she darted away before the townspeople had a chance to turn their heads.
Ruby returned to her cave and was never seen again.
Tina has written a book that would make a terrific Christmas gift for any family especially if there is another baby on the way.
Gabby is an only child who is about to become big sister to quadruplets! How will she handle this? Her parents decide on a unique approach to introduce her to and help her accept this awesome experience. Follow Gabby as she learns all about babies and the joy of loving.
Here are some of the reviews for the book.
Gabby is a single child that is about to have not one new baby brother or sister, but four!
As a parent, how can you make sure that your first born will not be filled with jealousy and insecurities when she sees four new babies come through the door? If you had siblings or if you are the parent of more than one child, I am sure that you know what I am talking about! If you felt you had less attention from your parents when they were struggling to keep the house together after the arrival of one baby, you can only imagine the consequences of a set of quadruplets.
In the book, Gabby’s parents decide to try a unique approach to get her support and secure her unconditional love for the little ones. Sure enough, Gabby reacts positively and is happy to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed, which is always. The story has a happy ending, with the big family of seven enjoying each other’s company.
The book has the lovely illustrations of Amy Tokarczyk.
If you are a mother or a father trying to deal with your children’s sibling rivalry, pick up this book today and read it to them. If Gabby was able to turn all her love and attention to her little brothers and sister, I am sure your little one will be able too.
This is a delightful story about an only child who is about to have four new siblings. Tina Frisco has written this story in a way that would be helpful to any household with a new (or multiple new) little ones on the way. The way the parents prepare Gabby to meet each child is insightful and shows a great method for involving the child with the new siblings.
The fact that this story is based on a real family makes it even more appealing. This book is beautifully illustrated. I loved that Tina included pictures of the family this story is about.
Entertaining and educational with great parenting tips.
Also by Tina Frisco – Plateau – Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012
A Native girl’s adventures hold vital message for modern society on August 26, 2013
Read all the reviews and BUY the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY
Connect with Tina via her website: https://tinafrisco.com/
My thanks to Tina for sharing such a wonderful story and it would be great if you could sent it on its way so others can read it too. Thank you Sally