Felipe Moore-Chapter Three

Kingwell By Kingwell, 16th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2vlx27_f/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

Filipe turns six but since birthdays are no big deal at the time he looks forward instead to Christmas which come just seventeen days later, and to hanging a stocking for Santa Claus to fill.

Birthdays and Christmas

Felipe turned six in the fall of 1943 but it was not his birthday that excited him. People just didn't pay much attention to birthdays in rural Newfoundland back then, not even children's birthdays. Delilah would bake a molasses cake for all family birthdays but there would never be a party for old or young. Older children would likely get the usual bumps from their peers but other than that the day passed as quietly as any other. No, it was something else that had Felipe both nervous and excited at the same time- it was Santa Claus, the little old man in the red suit who came down the chimney on Christmas Eve and left presents in a child's stocking usually hung near the stove so the jolly old elf could easily see it. He remembered that he had gotten a little wind-up truck last year as well as an apple and an orange and even a few candy. But what if Santa forgot about him this year especially since he was the only one in his house now hanging up a stocking. Christmas was not celebrated before Christmas Day but then there would be festivities for the twelve days of Christmas. At six years of age however, the only thing that really interested Felipe was Santa Claus or Sandy Claus as he was usually called here. The seventeen days between his birthday and Christmas Eve seem to stretch out forever but at last the day arrived. There was one other thing that peeked Felipe's interest and that was the Christmas tree. His father would go into the nearby woods in the afternoon of Christmas Eve and there he would pick a suitable tree, chop it down and bring it home. Felipe knew that his parents would trim the tree after he was in bed and asleep for children were never allowed to see the tree until Christmas morning. That year he remembered watching his father until he saw him venture into the woods and waited with bated breathe until he appeared with what Felipe knew would be their Christmas tree – that was if his mother liked the tree of course. On more than one Christmas Eve Benjamin had brought home a tree – only to be sent back by Delilah to get another because perhaps the top wasn't quite right or there weren't enough branches in the middle. This year however, he had got it right on the first try and the tree was brought in the house and stood up in a corner of the kitchen.


Preparations for Christmas Dinner

After they had eaten their supper of homemade bread and tea, Delilah hurriedly cleared the table and washed the dishes while the men rested. Like other families in Southern Arm they kept a dozen or so sheep both for the wool and meat. Delilah knitted all socks, mitts and sweaters for the family as well as underwear for the men. Two rams and four ewes had been born to the sheep last winter and yesterday Benjamin had killed one of the rams so they would have mutton for their Christmas dinner. After the dishes had been put away a choice piece of the meat was brought in from the small store at the back of the house to be prepared for tomorrows feast. The family also grew vegetables, especially potatoes but also carrot, turnip and cabbage. Benjamin had also brought in a piece of salt beef from the 25 pound tub that he had purchased a few weeks before assuring that the family's Christmas dinner would be a special treat indeed! Ben Jr. who had arrived home a week earlier was at his girlfriends parents house and Thomas and William were getting ready to go out with their friends. George had been staying up to help trim the tree for the past two Christmases and this year for the first time Charles would be joining in the tradition. Felipe was thinking of how beautiful the tree had looked last Christmas morning and with the others was looking forward to the delicious Christmas dinner but foremost in his mind was making sure the brick was out of the chimney before he went to bed – otherwise there wouldn't be a chance of him getting anything in his stocking. He was sure that Santa would never use the door but just go on to another house. He was also thinking about the fact that he had gotten mad with Charles last week and called him a bad name – what if Sandy Claus had overheard him!

The Santa Claus Brick

Soon his mother was calling him to get ready for bed and tonight was one time that he was not going to object. He was determined though to see the brick out of the chimney before he went upstairs! Benjamin took a butter knife and began trying to loosen the brick – than he asked George to get him an old screwdriver from his tool box but all to no avail – that brick was really stuck this time. Felipe began to panic. What if the brick never came out at all – he knew that he could kiss his presents goodbye. He had overheard George and his friends use the term a few days ago and they weren't talking about Christmas but whispering and laughing among themselves. He was sure they didn't know he had heard them or they would not have been using such rude language. They need not have worried though as the language aroused a sort of excitement in him though he had no idea why. Benjamin was still working to disengage the brick and trying very hard not to use profanity in front of his children. It was George who came up the idea that eventually freed the brick and allowed it slip out easily. Charles smiled at the look of relief on Felipe's face knowing that he would have felt the same way just a couple of years before. Benjamin saw a tear in his wife's eye and understood. The tradition of taking the brick from the chimney had started with Ben junior – Felipe was now the last to believe. Delilah took her youngest son's hand and walked up the stairs leaving the others to clean up the soot before returning the brick to it's rightful place.
See Chapter One
To be continued: See Chapter Four.

Tags

Birthday, Christmas, Christmas Dinner, Christmas Tree, Homemade Bread, Kingwell, Knitting, Lamb, Mutton, Newfoundland, Santa Claus, Santa Claus Brick, Stocking, Trimming The Tree, Vegetables

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Mariah
16th Dec 2013 (#)

Oh how warming Kingwell, you really have captured the ambience of a real traditional 1940's family Christmas, and the emotions of little Felipe just perfectly...his family creating the perfect Christmas from sheer hard work and family values. felt like I was sitting in the room with them watching the scene unfold.
Thank you so much.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
16th Dec 2013 (#)

as Madam maria says you have captured so well a yummy meal...ta evrr so...

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Dec 2013 (#)

So happy that you enjoyed it Mariah. Thank you for commenting.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
16th Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning, Kingwell; timely at this holiday season, and I am old enough to remember the contrast. You have captured it well. Those 17 days seemed to take much longer when marking them off on our homemade calendar at my house in the '50s. Thanks for the memories; look forward to the next installment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you Marilyn and so happy that you're enjoying it.

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author avatar LOVERME
16th Dec 2013 (#)

festivals are just an excuse
for a lovely present...

come send me a cake too

MERRY XMAS to all who read you too

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank you LOVERME.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Dec 2013 (#)

The innocent days and ways are so well captured with humor too Kingwell. Nowadays little children are tough to convince as they are soon lost in their own world and few in adult ones too! siva

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Dec 2013 (#)

Thank You Siva. Hope you will continue to read the series.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
27th Jan 2014 (#)

Masterly told with the delicate touch of treasured memories and love...beautiful work Kingwell a joy to read and truly savor...

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author avatar Kingwell
27th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia

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