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Fr. Terry's Christmas Story

Monday, December 25, 2017 A Christmas Story Christmas Story 2017 Once upon a time, in the magical kingdom of The Bronx, there lived a good little boy named Terry, who looked forward to the coming of Santa Claus at Christmas. Santa would come with presents for good little boys if they went to bed on Christmas Eve and did not get up in the middle of the night to look for Santa dropping off presents under the Christmas tree. If curiosity or impatience won out and you saw Santa, all your presents would disappear. But there was a wicked Christmas Witch who also lived in the kingdom. She hated good little boys, Santa, and Christmas with all its love and presents. For most of the year the witch disguised herself as a beautiful Irish lass with curly dark hair and beautiful eyes and smile. Only at Christmas did she show her true self when she was able to make little boys unhappy. Terry had never seen the Witch or Santa. Now the wicked witch had a plan to get Terry to see Santa and lose all his presents. She went out into the Bronx Forest, known as the Botanical Gardens, and gathered up all at the pine needles she could find. She stored them away so they could dry and be especially irritating to the body. Then, on Christmas Eve afternoon, she came in through the bedroom window and put the pine needles under Terry’s bedsheets. Cackling away, she flew off. That night Terry went to bed in anticipation of Christmas Day and presents from Santa. But Terry could not sleep because of the pine needles hidden under his bedsheets. He tossed and turned while impatience and curiosity got the better of him. After his Mom and Dad and Sister Maureen had gone to bed, and the house was all quiet, Terry got up and quietly tip toed to the room of the Christmas Tree. There he saw Santa with a stack of presents in a bag. Suddenly, all Terry’s presents disappeared. Santa was startled and turned around to see Terry staring at him. Terry began to cry. Suddenly, from somewhere nearby, the cackling of the Christmas Witch could be heard. She was so happy that Terry would get nothing for Christmas. Santa realized that the witch had tricked Terry. But then Santa had an idea. He had been dealing with this Bronx witch for a long time. He said to Terry, “There might be a way to help you.” Suddenly, Terry had hope, as Santa waved his hand in the air and a sprinkle of light came into the room. In the light appeared what looked like an angel. Terry’s mouth hung open. The angel said to Santa, “Well I see that the witch has had a good cackle over all this, Santa.” Then the angel turned to Terry and said, “There is a way for you to get your presents.” “There is?” asked Terry. “First, I will show you who the Christmas witch is. Come with me.” The angel led Terry back into his bedroom which he shared with his big sister, Maureen. Maureen was sleeping, or so it appeared. The angel waved an angel wand over Maureen and she slowly turned into the ugly, hateful, cackling Christmas witch. Terry was horrified. “My big sister is the witch! I hate her. She is so mean and ugly.” “Well,” said the angel, “That won’t get you a good Christmas.” “What if you kill the witch in her sleep? At least I will get revenge.” “But you won’t get presents and the baby Jesus won’t show up either,” said the angel. Terry had forgotten about the baby Jesus. He was focused on presents. “If you forgive your sister, and love her, even though she is, well, a witch, she will lose her power to make Christmas miserable for little children,” said the angel. “Forgive and love?” asked Terry. “It is the only way for a good Christmas to happen,” said the angel. “By forgiving and loving, you will allow other children to have a good Christmas. Hate and revenge won’t do,” said the angel. “How do I do this?” asked Terry. The angel produced a little cross and handed it to him. “Hold this cross and ask Jesus to help you to forgive and love, just as he did when he became a big boy.” Terry took the cross in his little hand, closed his eyes and asked to forgive and love Maureen, the witch. “If you are feeling a little forgiveness and love,” said the angel, “Go and give your big sister, a kiss on her witch face.” Holding the cross, Terry went up to his sister and kissed her on the cheek with a little forgiveness and love. The witch turned back into his beautiful sister, who sat up, smiled at him and they hugged. Terry turned and asked the angel, “Do you have a name?” “Yes. I am the angel Gabriel. My work is done here for now.” With that, the angel disappeared. The next thing Terry knew, it was morning. There were no pine needles under his bed as he awoke. With his big sister Maureen holding his hand, they walked to the Christmas tree. Under the tree were all Terry’s presents. On top was a beautiful little box. When Terry opened it, there was a note. It said, “Thank you for letting me come into your world today. Forgiveness and love is all it takes.” It was signed, Jesus.

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