It was Christmas Eve and the frost fairies were busy getting ready for Christmas Day. First of all they spread the loveliest white snow carpet over the rough, bare ground; then they hung the bushes and trees with icicles that flashed like diamonds in the moonlight. Later on, they planned to draw beautiful frost pictures on the window panes, to surprise the little children in the morning. The stars shone brightly and the moon sent floods of light in every nook and corner. How could any one think of sleeping when there was such a glory outside!
Jessie and Fred had gone to bed very early so they might be the first to shout “Merry Christmas!” but their eyes would not stay shut. “It must be morning,” said Fred; “let’s creep softly down stairs and maybe we’ll catch Santa Claus before he rides off.”
Hand in hand they tiptoed to the dining-room and peeped out the big window. There was something climbing up the roof of cousin Nellie’s house; it must be Santa! Fred gave a chuckle of delight; the reindeer were strange looking objects, and the sleigh such a funny shape, but the children were satisfied.
“There’s something scratching on the door,” whispered Jessie; but it was only a mouse, who had sniffed the delightful Christmas goodies and was trying his best to find a way into the pantry and test them with his sharp teeth.
“Come,” said Jessie, “we’ll turn to icicles if we stay here much, longer”; so up-stairs they quickly scampered.
Dad had been to town on an errand, so it was quite late when he came home. As he was hunting in his pockets for his key, he heard a pitiful cry, and looking down he saw a big, white cat carrying a tiny kitten in her mouth.
“Poor thing,” said dad, “you shall come inside until morning.” When dad left the room, the cat and her kitty were curled up comfortably on the rug singing their sleepy song.
Santa Claus brought a train and a sweater for Fred and a doll and a dress for Jessie and left it by the Christmas tree.
The sun was shining brightly in the dining-room window when Jessie and Fred came down; then Fred laughed with delight, for on his new sweater lay the cutest white kitten, with big, blue eyes and wee pink nose.
“I never had a live Christmas present before,” said Fred, “now I know Santa Claus read the letter I threw up the chimney because I told him to bring me a kitten and here it is.”
Dad smiled and looked at mom, and then everybody said “Merry Christmas” at once.