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The Jacksons – for Jan. 7, 2010

“ Don’t touch that Allison!” Jennifer Jackson reached down and scooped

her little niece up off the floor and away from the brightly lit Christmas tree and the mound of colourful packages that lay beneath it. “That’s for later sweetie.” She gave the little girl a kiss on the forehead and Allison giggled happily.

“Fo’ waiter,” she mimicked Jennifer’s words in her innocent little-girl voice.

“Where’s Mommy?” asked Jennifer, and Allison pointed in the direction of the kitchen. “Mommy’s cooking isn’t she?”

Allison nodded but didn’t seem interested in the topic, her eyes roaming around the room visually exploring the decorations and lights that Rose and Jennifer had so enjoyed putting in place a week earlier. Eventually her eyes lit on the book lying open on the couch. She pointed excitedly. “Wead?” she said.

“Read?” Jennifer laughed. “But we just read that an hour ago!”

“Again?” said Allison questioningly.

“Oh, all right,” said Jennifer, sitting down on the couch and picking up the book. “It’s a good story isn’t it?” Allison didn’t answer, but reached to turn the pages to find the beginning of the book.

“Ready?” asked Jennifer. Allison nodded, her attention already focused on the book. “OK here goes.” Jennifer took a deep breath. “’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Allison giggled and reached out with a tiny finger to touch the page.

“Mouse,” she said.

“Mhmm,” said Jennifer, and then continued. “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.” Allison squirmed suddenly off of Jennifer’s lap and ran over to the mantel. Reaching up she touched one of the stockings hanging there.

“Mine?” she said.

“Yes it is,” said Jennifer. “Now?” said Allison.

Jennifer shook her head. “Later,” she said, and Allison ran back to her and clambered up onto her lap once more. “Ready?” Allison nodded and Jennifer continued. “The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.” She read on, Allison studying each page as though she had never seen the pictures there before but when they reached the page with the picture of “Jolly ol’ St. Nick” Allison’s hand flew out once more to point at the image.

“Santa,” she said and once again slipped off of Jennifer’s lap, but this time she headed for the window. “Come,” she said standing on tiptoes to peer out into the gathering darkness. She pointed upwards. “Santa coming?” she said. Jennifer scooped the little girl up once more and the two of them looked out of the window into the sky.

“Later,” said Jennifer. “Everything is later today isn’t it? But isn’t it so pretty outside? Look at the frost on the tree.” Allison looked at the tree then turned suddenly and pointed in the direction of the kitchen.

“Mommy,” she said.

“OK,” said Jennifer, “let’s go say hi to Mommy,” and they headed off down the hallway and into the kitchen. The smells of roast turkey, stuffing, and pie filled the room. “Yummy,” said Jennifer.

“Mommy!” said Allison reaching her arms towards Jackie who was stirring something on the stove.

“Hi Ally!” Jackie turned to allow her daughter to put her arms around her neck and squeeze. “Mommy’s busy,” she said. “And what has Ally been doing?”

“Santa come soon?” said Allison. “Later,” said Jackie. “After dinner.” Jennifer laughed. “Allison’s definitely

going to understand the concept of later by the time this day is over,” she said. “Boy, it smells good in here. I’m starving.” As she spoke the outside door burst open and Andrew and Randy entered, noisily stomping snow off of their boots.

“Brady and Amanda are just coming up the road,” Andrew called out.

“Gampa,” shrieked Allison squirming her way down to the floor and running for the entry. “Daddy!”

“How’s my little one?” Andrew picked his granddaughter up and carried her back into the kitchen, Randy following behind.

“Good timing,” said Rose, who was at the counter mashing a huge pot of potatoes. “Dinner is ready.”

Randy sat down at the table next to Jennifer who had just taken a chair.

“Hey sis,” he said. “So what would you like for Christmas this year?”

Jennifer looked at her father who was making Allison giggle by blowing in her ear and then kissing her cheek. She turned and smiled at her brother.

“I think I’d like to be one again, just for a few days,” she said.

Randy grinned. “Wouldn’t we all,” he said.

Wishing each and every one of you the very best this Holiday Season! Thank you all for helping to keep the Jacksons on the farm!

Rollin Penner

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