It was late morning.  Addie sat alone, staring out her window.  It was the holiday season, and although it was a time when Addie thought a lot about her poverty, she was grateful for her “blessings.”  “Well,” she thought, “Tis the season.  I’ll be alright.”

Addie was not a young woman, but she hesitated to say she was old.  When asked her age, Addie responded with, “I’m old enough to vote but not old enough to have met President Lincoln.”  She would then laugh, her response tickling her and tickling or confusing whoever had asked.

There was a knock at her door. Addie scooted to the front of her chair, put her hand on the table next to her to brace herself and stood up.  She yelled, “Coming, coming,” as she shuffled along toward the door.

When she opened the door and saw all the people gathered there, she gasped, “Oh, my goodness.” It was a group of her friends and neighbors, a diverse group, a bouquet of young and old, black, white, brown, yellow and red, Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists. They started to sing the lyrics to the song Good King Wenceslas*, a song about kindness bestowed on a poor man. 

“Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath’ring winter fuel…

“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”

… Therefore, (all mankind) be sure, while (the Omnipotent’s) gifts possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.”

Addie wiped tears from her eyes.

 “Hey, Miss Addie” one of the members of the group said when they finished singing, “Are you going to invite us inside?”  “Oh, yes,” said Addie as she backed out of the doorway, “Where are my manners. Do come in.” 

The group entered, pulling a cart behind them that was filled with food and wrapped gifts.  “Happy Holidays, Miss Addie. Tis the season to be jolly,” they said,   Addie hugged each one of them and told them how much she loved them. “Happy Holidays,” Addie said, “ ‘Tis the season indeed.” Thank you


*Lyrics written in 1853 by English hymnwriter John Mason Neale, 1818-1866.

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...